"Our Cousin of Death" (alternatively, "Our Cousin of Death Tastes Sound with His Ears")
24"x30" Acrylic on canvas.
I'll update this post with my accompanying poem "Patois" a little later today, I think...
Faced with a lot of deadlines for other pieces of artwork, I decided to counter the stress by completing something that wasn't necessarily for anybody else.
Language, potential, identity, etc. have been recurring themes in my work, but more recently I've been contemplating mobility. Not only moving from one place to another, but our progression through moods and "enlightenment", our place in society and what role privelege has in how we make that transition from one state to the next.
Regarding privelege, I'm still developing my thoughts.... but I get this sense that there's two basic connotations to it; the first depicts it as something we earn. It’s acquired through experience. The other definition is ascribed and deals with society; we are born with certain odds in and out of our favor, aspects of ourselves that we can't necessarily change.
This piece in particular isn't one that I can look at and see dilemmas, challenges, or what I was thinking at any point in the process. It's more of a mindspace ... rather, rest, relief and sanctuary for the active mind. Time weighs heavy in the atmosphere; time is a humidity here. I'm not sure if we're ever totally conscious when moments adopt that quality ... it's usually when we feel trauma, or (arguably) when we sleep. Obligation and guilt become obsolete, to a certain extent.
Of course, the opposite could be true as well; perhaps when we sleep or when the fight instinct kicks in (whatever is happening!), we reach our maximum capacity for awareness. I'm learning more and more lately that I'm not that great at defining ends of a spectrum.... I might just be too human to see past the fact that opposites don't exist without one another. That purpose alone (eliciting one another) invokes an incredibly vivid sense of sameness.
This piece is also representative of coping. And maybe the proportions of the heart, in a more metaphorical sense.
There's presumably two "obvious", living entities in this place - I invite you to contemplate which you identify with more.
Is the seated figure on the left any more or less significant than the colossal head on the right? Is the space that's occupied of any significance? To me, it just feels so balanced....
Who is our cousin of death? What would he say if he could talk and would you listen? What does he hear? What do you hear?
Notice, I don't dare ask "why?"~