Learning a Little About Kierkegaard

I have enjoyed listening to these two lectures about Kierkegaard’s attempt to solve the problem of having a duality of soul and body, an abstract and a concrete, by relating to another, or, as he puts it, to have infinite passion for the finite.

This “other” could be a person, or it could be a cause, path, practice or ideal, I think.

It made me think of how Michael J Fox shared the existential crisis he went through after being diagnosed with Parkinsons. This would be what Kierkegaard calls “despair”, which he theorises has been present all along, but was previously covered up by the distractions of addiction, celebrity, and work in Fox’s case.

The crisis was resolved by transforming despair into bliss, by relating to the cause of promoting Parkinsons awareness and raising funds for research in order to find a cure.

Getting diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome definitely caused me some despair, but when I embraced the idea of making positive changes to improve my condition, options began to appear.

Through relating to this healing journey, my approach to art has also changed, as I now look for non-toxic mediums, and find the constraints of my RA and a low budget actually inform my art.

So transforming despair into bliss by having passion for both the healing and artistic journeys, while sharing it with you here can hopefully give the relationship the additional aspect of inspiring others to do a similar kind of thing.

Symbolic Abstracts Exploring the Circle

For the series of abstracts I am currently working on, I have chosen one symbol: the circle. Why the circle? Well, there is no particular preference for any geometric shape, it’s just that I had to chose one, and then allow the series of works to evolve around the use of this shape.

It is a very inclusive symbol, and seems appropriate for bringing together my technical and stylistic approaches to reference philosophical and psychological themes.

I am a big fan of Joseph Campbell’s writings where he cites the circle as being the best symbol to describe the hero’s journey, which I like to think of as a healing journey.

Here’s a little dialogue he had with Bill Moyers in regards to the circle.

The hands-on mixing of colours, building up of textures, and making intuitive decisions is what I think of as the existential aspect of my artistic practice, whereas, the introduction of measurement and proportion incorporates the metaphysical and rational Platonic aspect. I want the works to be expressive, as well as decorative, chaotic, yet ordered, small in size, while expansive in their effect.

A4 size circle with green for web

A4 size circle with green close for web

After painting the shape of the circle, I then cut a circle out of pieces of paper which had first been coated with a base colour mixed with sand texture gel, and had had some acrylic pouring and blotching done to them.
I then sliced out a section from this textured circle to reveal the colour underneath add further interest.

These sections could be thought of as phases in the mythic journey, or just as phases in time. The thing I don’t like about analogue clocks and watches is that they can trick us into thinking that we just repeat the same cycle over and over, like clockwork, but don’t account for the unique weather, mood, or challenges of any particular cycle, or phase within that cycle.

Circle on blue with black and black frame for web

Crircle on blue with brown and square frame for web