Elements of Hope – brief notes
November 20, 2007
An Acrylic painting on Canvas. 65cm x 65cm
By way of introduction, I must mention that as an artist I’m foremost concerned with the aesthetic value of the work. In other words the colour, composition, lines and visual impact must be pleasing to the eye. A secondary concern is the message. So I will usually sacrifice message and meaning for good composition,the decorative value and the desired style. Those artist that can equally combine both are truly brilliant.
Elements of Hope– Most ancient faiths, religions and believes systems speak about the four (sometimes five) basic elements of water, earth , air and fire. You will find them mentioned from Buddhism to Neo-paganism and of course Greek philosophy as stated by the 5th century BC philosopher Empedocles:
At the beginning of time, Love completely dominated the universe. As a consequence, the four elements were unified into a sphere and segregated according to their type– a quarter of the sphere was water, a quarter was air, and the remaining half was divided equally by earth and fire. However, with the introduction of Strife “The Sphere” was gradually dissolved, slowly scattering the elements throughout the universe. The complete dissolution of The Sphere was achieved by the eventual predominance of Strife. However, Love began to gather strength again, causing the elements to congregate in clusters, and thereby creating life. Eventually, the elements will form a second unity, a second “Sphere,” and the cycle will reset. (Empedocles of Akragas by Jesse Weidman)
In this painting I have represented the four elements as a dark mysterious spiritual sky, a green earth that can feed us, a sphere of fire providing light and warmth surrounded by life-giving water. The idea that the unity of these elements can result in universal love can also be seen as an expression of the Creator’s love and this provides Creation with hope.