Magic: Date Palm and Drawing, Sewanee, 1990.
Platinum-palladium print on 100% cellulose paper (Fabriano 5) from original 8×10 inch negative.
This is one image out of a 3-cycle project called ‘Memory, Balance, Love’, which was kindly supported by the Scottish Arts Council, and first shown at the Portfolio Gallery and Workshops in Edinburgh in 1990. Part of the statement I wrote for the exhibition reads:
‘It may be useful here to recall Paul Klee’s analogy of his creative self being akin to a tree. I believe that an elemental part of this proverbial creative root system is nourished by the conditions of memory, love and balance.
With memory, the creative mind exercises that quality which is the mark of intelligence: the ability to identify patterns, hypothesize and make deductions. Love compells the creative mind to express itself, be compassionate and learn how to nurture itself. Balance, or rather, the creative mind’s desire for balanced states, is often the condition that ignites the individual into action and helps define a sense of `completeness’and perhaps even an archetypal polity. More importantly, when combined with love and memory, a sense of balance helps the creative mind to become more acute in terms of spiritual graciousness.
The Cycle: If a shape can describe the cognitive process, perhaps the spiral would be the most appropriate one. One starts any process of cognition equipped with an initial set of communicative information and knowledge (language, syntax etc.,) and proceeds, step by step, to enhance it with each new understanding and experience. In a manner of speaking, the mind sweeps over old, familiar ground in order to understand new ground, but in doing so, the old ground gets disturbed. The new ground too is destined for `disturbance’ as it becomes assimilated. With the assimilation of each `step’ comes a corresponding shift in the context that is applied to making sense of subsequent perceptions; a shift in context implies a shift in the understanding of already assimilated information. Hence the cycle establishes itself. This spiral model is perhaps best illustrated when considering a number of images arranged in a circular fashion. No matter what the initial image is, by the time one sequential viewing has been completed, it is likely that the initial image, on reconsideration, will be perceived differently. The context that these images are placed in enlarges as one progresses along the sequence. The three cycles, `Memory’, `Love’ and `Balance’, have been structured with this perceptual model in mind. It is hoped that the result will generate a fluid, spiralling poetry.’
Memory, balance and love, as we arrive at the Winter Solstice….