“Every creative person is a duality or a synthesis of contradictory aptitudes. On the one side he is a human being with a personal life, while on the other side he is an impersonal, creative process…The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is ‘man’ in a higher sense–he is ‘collective man’–one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind.”
– C. G. Jung
I feel like the overall philosophical, existential and visual foundations that I’ve explored to this date are expressed in their purest form in a reoccurring dream I saw as a little child.
The dream was black and white and all events happened against a black infinite space. In that space there were mystical geometrical objects made of sparkling white light floating and morphing strangely. Those objects were absolutely incomprehensible to me but I somehow felt them to be alive and conscious beings. It was almost like they were telling or showing me something important. There was no sound or words, only images and feelings.
These objects had a strangely powerful presence which filled me with both awe and intense anxiety. The atmosphere of the dream was agonizing but not because those objects would have been threatening or malevolent; my distress came from not being able to get a hold of anything. My stomach turned upside down and my head was dizzy as I followed these entities constantly change their size and form. At times they were microscopically small, at times as big as the biggest galaxies and at times both at the same time. I was confused, anxious and afraid.
The time-space where all this mysterious action was happening, had no reference point, so I could not understand proportions at all. I didn’t know if it was me or the objects who were changing size and form. In other words, I was unsure if things outside me were changing or was it only my own perspective morphing.
I’ve noticed that my artwork feels right to me when I have captured a similar atmosphere as that dream had. I still get turned on by similar imagery. The black and white signifying truths in their most naked and primal form. The strong contrasts and visual intensity as representations of how I personally perceive the underlying force of life to be; dynamic, vibrant and overwhelming. Darkness intrigues me as a symbol of the (yet) unknown. The geometrical forms pointing to the impersonal oneness behind apparent contradictory duality of human experience.
One of my art professors once looked at my drawings and said to me: “it seems like you are creating a story. Only difference is that you’re doing it backwards, starting with the illustration”. I do feel like I have a overall story that I’m reconstructing. It’s almost like that dream would’ve said: “this is what it’s all about. Here is the riddle. This is what you have to solve and narrate.” That story is about the reality beyond our narrow, five-sense-based virtual reality of humans.
To keep uncovering the story, I have to keep in touch with much wider perspective aka other realms of reality. I explore different states and maps of consciousness to dig deep to the mind and even beyond it to find pieces of the this mystical puzzle. That of course makes me closely related to tradition of visionary art and even to the ancient tradition of shamanism.
I first hunt inner visions and then try to understand their meaning. Ideas that are beyond the receiver’s current understanding can not usually be understood with the existing maps of the rational mind, so it’s only natural that they first appear as images and symbols. The process of transforming those visions as physical objects is also the process of contemplating the underlying intuitive insights. When I have understood the meaning of a particular image, I name it. Giving a peace a name is the end of the artwork but at the same time it’s the first step to bringing the new understanding to the world of words and concepts. From that point on, the same vision continues it’s life in writing and other communication based on words.
The art piece remains as the physical reminder of that particular insight or insights in time and space. It serves as a window to certain frequency and related ideas can be contemplated through it. On the other hand, every image works as a Rorschach ink-plot and can be used to study one’s own mind through reflected associations regardless of the artists vision. In that way, every image is an opportunity for self-knowledge which is the base of any form of authentic inner evolution. Either way, the ultimate objective is to expand consciousness. The expansion of understanding is the mission of art for me.
I often feel like the world is starving in the absence of better and more working ideas mainly because most societies operate almost exclusively on the bases of materialistic, rational, mathematical and statistical thinking. And as Einstein pointed out, we cannot solve our problems with the same level thinking that created them. That’s why I believe we need all kinds of visionaries, individuals who are not afraid to explore the unknown borderlands of the psyche, to search for new ideas and insights through unconventional methods and thinking.
© Ferokh Numen 2015