Wednesday, August 26, 2015

So Where Did The Inspiration Come From?

Signs of Life
Collagraph Handprint
I was asked this while standing in front of my Collagraph, “Signs of Life”, at a recent art opening.  I love the word “Inspiration”.   It’s original meaning was “incoming of spirit”, and we inspire and expire when we breathe.  Finally with our last “expiration” of breath, the spirit leaves.

Sometimes when we are inspired it is though some magical idea just pops into our mind.  Some artists say this inspiration comes from their Muse and they actively court her favour.  You can read about this in Steven Pressfield’s wonderful little book called “The War of Art”. 

I can’t claim any “incoming of spirit” for the piece shown here but instead it came from a wonderful book called “Signs of Life” that I read at least ten years ago.

Written by anthropologist Angeles Arrien it beautifully describes and illustrates the five universal symbols or those most commonly used by civilizations all over the world throughout the ages.  These symbols evidently hold a similar meaning for all.  The book also includes a Preferential Shapes test where the order in which you prefer the shapes gives insight into your life.  It’s an interesting and fun test to do when you have time with friends and family.

From this idea I have been “Inspired” to create a number of artworks.  In the one shown, there is a figure standing on what could be the world (unfortunately the world is cut off in this photo).  The symbols are arranged in no particular order on the body.  Here is the meaning ascribed to each symbol.

The Circle – wholeness

The Cross – relationship and integration

The Triangle – discovery, dreams and aspirations.  Another word with “spirit” in it.

The Square – stability and security

The Spiral – growth and evolution

If you can, get a copy if the book and enjoy.

I have only printed four impressions of this so far, two are sold, and each one is different although they are all in the blue colour range.
Related Posts with Thumbnails