It is only the poetic understanding of our universe that can hope to reveal its meaning for us and thereby secure our place in it.


 


Self-portrait: 26: THE ENUMERATOR, 2007   See more >

The sky has always captivated me. Even as a small child I sensed that it held a great presence, that it was peopled in some way and filled with untold stories. This fascination with the colour and pageant of the heavens and later by cosmologies of contemporary, ancient and exotic civilisations developed into a belief that within the Cosmos, above it and beneath it, lies part of us.

In our age the study of space and numbers has a cultural position which it has not enjoyed since perhaps the dawn of human consciousness. Astronomy and Numerology represent surely the oldest and most persistent attempts by mankind to make sense of the Cosmos. The colossal investment of time, effort and money which we are prepared to make into the exploration of Outer Space and the construction of machines of gigantic and ever-increasing power testifies to the desire to reach out to both the internal psychological as well as the external observed Universe. But this desire contains in itself the contradictions of mastery and freedom, domination and understanding.

Within this dichotomy, brought about by a civilisation with a technical view of the Universe, lies both the problem of our age and the solution for all ages: the technical mind works for mastery, the poetic for freedom. The technician builds his concepts and machines, the poet then takes them to pieces, certain that inside the technician lies a human being and that not only are the rules of humanity not the rules of Mathematics, which even the technically minded might concede, but that neither are the rules of the Universe the rules of Mathematics. In the day-to-day world, the poetic view will tend to mind its own business, the technical will tend to mind other people’s business; in the cosmic sphere the poetic way will search for liberation, the technical for mastery; in the Arts the poetic instinct says everything at once, the technical method can only say one thing at a time, even if nowadays at extraordinary speed.

As an artist I did not choose Astronomy at random for subject matter. In my paintings I try to unravel at least some parts of the technical disciplines I find around me in the belief that it is only the poetic understanding of our universe that can hope to reveal its meaning for us and thereby secure our place in it.