The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
This new painting, a 12″ by 36″ canvas, that is headed to the Principle Gallery with me this weekend is called Come Together. It’s a continuation of the island theme that has been running through my work as of late.
I think the words of Emerson above fit very much with what I see in this painting. Though it appears to be two separate islands with trees linked by a bridge, I see them as having been once united and have somehow been separated. In this case, it may have been the tumult of time where the seabeds rise and the mountaintops fall– many of the high peaks that we know are sedimentary rock, after all, raised from the bottoms of the oceans.
The disunity Emerson was writing about was man separating himself from nature instead of realizing that he is part of nature and operates best when he is united with it through order and reason in a sort of partnership. It makes sense especially when you consider the way that nature reacts when we try to exercise our belief that we have dominion over it.
In the same essay, Emerson also wrote the following that I think better puts this into context:
Nature is not fixed but fluid. Spirit alters, moulds, makes it. The immobility or bruteness of nature, is the absence of spirit; to pure spirit, it is fluid, it is volatile, it is obedient. Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobbler’s trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar’s garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.
We all have the ability to live within nature and to build our own world that reflects our spirit. If only we can find unity with the nature that desires to be our partner.
Just remember, your world is what you make it.
This painting will be with me at the Gallery Talk this Saturday, September 17, at the Principle Gallery. It starts at 1 PM and should be a good time. There will be a drawing for the painting, Defiant Heart, which has been shown in the past couple of posts. Plus there will be a few other surprises as well. Hope to see you there!