9.26.2018

Hidden Nature

After working on the Forest Goddess series, I began to think about visibility / invisibility and it occurred to me that the jungle environment could provide another impenetrable screen, helping to conceal hidden things not quite obvious, dream-like, perhaps secret. And of course, the jungle is a realm of shamanic practice - the realm of ancestors, plant and animal spirits, ayahuasca visions.

I set about creating a leaf 'screen' based upon iconic jungle foliage. I wanted to make this leaf pattern repeating so I could tile a number of such blocks together into a larger  panoramic aspect ratio. In this process, the adjacent and overlapping leaves began to form symmetrical totemic / figurative forms. The impact was similar to Rorschach inkblots.

If you look carefully (in the enlarged images) you may begin to resolve images of figures and animals concealed in the jungle.

Jungle Panorama 01

Jungle Panorama 02
Like any Rorschach image, your interpretation of what you see represents a shifting understanding / vision based upon a mix of cultural indoctrination, personal dreams, phobias, emotions, etc. 

As a viewer embodying a more traditional 20th Century Western mindset, the jungle is dark, all-encompassing, unknown, unspeakable: it is the "Heart of Darkness" to be avoided, symbolizing a potentially life-threatening path into danger, loss of self, even madness.

For other viewers who embrace the 21st Century "archaic revival," this Western view of the jungle as something to be feared and avoided is 're-coded' with an indigenous world view full of respect, awe, and mystery. It can be a place of healing, self-discovery, and revelation.

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