Here’s another small (7″x5″) mixed media encaustic board I’ve been working on as part of my Below the Line personal art project.
It’s difficult creating a visual narrative (for this is a little story) on such a small surface, but on the other hand, it circumvents my overly complicated brain.
One source of reference and inspiration for this piece was 20th century British artist Cecil Collins, whose work I have long admired and would have liked to have studied under him. Unfortunately, he died before I had the chance, in 1989. The closest I got to him was his Tate Gallery retrospective in 1989.
Collins was a Christian mystic. His essays are collected in The Vision of the Fool and other Writings, edited and introduced by Brian Keeble. Keeble was co-founder and editor, and is now Fellow, of the Temenos Academy, dedicated to Arts of the Imagination. Temenos features the works and words of scholars of Perennial Philosophy. The core view of Perennialism is that each of the world’s religions shares a single, universal truth from which all religious knowledge and doctrine has sprung. In a small nutshell.
At first glance, Collins would seem to have been an artist of the naïve school, such as the 19th century French artist, and contemporary of Picasso, Le Douanier (Henri Rousseau). Indeed he wasn’t. He was a trained artist, studying at Plymouth School of Art and then the Royal College, London.
The dark horizontal form in my little panel above is a collaged monotype made from the rubber stamp I carved (on the right). It is of course, the form that I found during my badtime. No details required; everybody has badtimes. Then, it was a sort of effigy. I had put the form away; but it has broken free and returned, but transformed, into a carrier of light. Spiritual progress, I’d say! I expect one day this thing too may very well gird up its loins and walk. Admittedly, this character is on the dark side, but there is a modicum of light moving within. (I wonder what that means)? I am pleased to have himher back. Who knows, without himher I may have run mad or turned villainous.
Do you have an effigy, linga, talisman, himher? Did it get you through a badtime? I want to know, as little Davey says constantly to Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. Yes, I’m still reading the series. I’m reading Anne of the House of Dreams at present.
I don’t know if Carrier of Light is entirely finished. I reached a point where it was reminding me of an ancient Book of Hours. It may become a Book of Light. I may need to add an encrustment – of gems. I like that name, Book of Light. A book of words that shine so fiercely they scorch your cheek. Roll over Close Encounters.