A Fragile Harmony

I have always been curious about things I knew were there but physically could not touch or feel. One of those influences are stories, history. Tales both real and fictitious that form national and community psyches from which the “blank” canvas of every child learns, developing their genetic inheritance to create their character and moral outlook as they reconcile lives events to those stories. That influence is something that much of the time informs the art I make and as the world becomes more integrated and stories overlap that repository of influence is continually evolving as humanity records and relates current events into tomorrow’s histories.

A Fragile Harmony evokes the fragility of an individual existence in the face of death yet tries to show how we all see the human history. How we can only see humanities overarching psyche from our own limited viewpoint missing so much and the impossibility ability to truly stand in another’s shoes and see with their perspective and experiences, we can only bring our own existence to a perceived understanding of their history. That understanding can be a challenge and fear of change can make our own perspective a safe haven which we defend.

There is also the ongoing development of that repository of stories. Great people have made immense contributions to improve the human condition but there are also darker events in that repository and that is also a fragile harmony, with a plethora of tales both ancient and modern, classical and banal of good versus evil. As the peoples of the world continue to integrate through the internet and social media and we learn of other cultures and ideas which can be illuminating but current events would demonstrate the darker side as some continue to exploit the current media to defend their own perspective with little concern for the ensuing conflict be it physical, verbal or mental.

 The steel ball in the work hints at the overarching Human Psyche, that thing I can’t touch. I can touch the steel ball but the property I liked about it is I don’t really see it, what I see is a reflection or everything around it, it’s shape is defined by the distortion in the reflections. The centre which I cant see contains everything that has historically contributed to todays repository from primitive man through Roman and Greek Classics, the Renaissance to the internet. It has been developing since man could talk and tell stories and I like to think of the centre of the ball as full of lost and forgotten stories that still influence what it projects today.

It is an opposite quality that drew me to the clear acrylic balls for the heads of the butterflies, they do not reflect the surroundings be by refraction when you look at them you see the colours and vague shapes of what surrounds them on the inside surface. They are like individuals who internalise and develop the ideas, images they come across.  

So the Steel ball is a representation of all that human history reflects and the acrylic heads our own internalisation of what we experience.

The whole piece has been developed over about eighteen months, the first piece I acquired was the central piece of wood to which everything is attached, I had it about a year and was still wondering what to do with it when I acquired the second pieces of wood from which the butterflies are shaped, because of a deformity in the trunk they were already almost wing shaped. It then took only about thirty minutes for the idea to develop, the next steps were purely the making and developing the overall visual impact I wanted for the work. That took about three months as I gathered components and worked out ways to combine them that added to the meaning I wanted to place in the work.