The pictures an artist produces not only act as a mirror for the spectator but they also act as a mirror for the artist himself.

Where did the picture the artist produced come from? As I see it there are 3 possibilities:

      1. The artist had a particular idea he wishes to express. When he ponders this idea various images arise in his imagination. Out of all these images the artist selects the one he feels most fits his intended meaning.

      2. An image just pops into the artist’s head and he thinks “That looks cool! I’m going to paint that!”

      3. The artist starts off with no idea or image. He just starts “doodling”. As he “doodles” ideas and concepts occur to him that directs his drawing.

In case one the questions to ask are “Why does the artist wish to convey that idea?” and out of all the images that occurred to him “Why did he select that one?”

In case two the questions to ask are “Why did that image pop up in the artists head?” and “What interpretation does the artist give this image?”

In case three the questions to ask are “Why did that particular idea occur to the artist when he looked at that shape?” and “Why did the artist’s drawing take the direction it took?”

These are all questions the artist and spectator can ponder themselves. When the spectator ponders these questions he places himself in the place of the artist.

Isn’t this evident in the common question “What do you think the artist meant by this piece?”

The spectator by placing himself into the place of the artist when he asks these types of questions is really asking questions of himself. His sub-conscious and hidden self manifest as the non-present artist.

Really the intended meaning of the piece doesn’t matter. The piece takes on a life of its own in the minds of the spectators. The artist as time changes becomes other than what he was when he produced the piece; inevitably, through the progress of time the artist becomes the spectator of his own production.


Advaita via Collage

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So yesterday I did this: my first collage since school.

I want to enter as many worlds of play as possible. Develop as many skills as possible because it is through skills that we grow into our possibilities as a person. We gain more means by which to express our being.

All art has many interpretations; this is why there are many answers to the question: “What does this piece mean?”

I don’t really think that the artist’s intended meaning is as important as the inexhaustible interpretations any piece of art has.

This is because art acts as a mirror into which we can stare at our more hidden selves.

Art as a Rorschach test if you will.

But saying that; here is my intended meaning for the piece:

The 5 eyes on the fingers and thumb represent the 5 senses.

The faces at the top and bottom; the one wearing sun-glasses and the other with her eyes closed, represent our manifestation into the world of sensory experience.

The 5 different coloured lines connecting the 5 eyes on the fingers and thumbs to the face with closed eyes and the 5 different coloured lines connecting the face with the closed eyes to the face with the glasses represent our contact with the other via the 5 senses.

The concept here is that the other’s inner being is not disclosed to us via the 5 senses.

Now we come to the eye in the palm of the hand and the eye on the forehead of the woman at the top.

These eyes symbolise awareness itself.

Awareness is the same for everyone and I like the idea of Advaita – or non-duality – that claims that awareness is universal. That what is looking out through our 5 senses is the same thing in all of us.

So I linked the 2 eyes that represent awareness via a purple line because purple is a royal colour.

The concept here is that by looking inwards instead of outwards we find the other’s inner being in our own inner being.

The eye in the palm is surrounded by cuttings I took from the sky to represent the peace that stepping back into this awareness gives.