Thursday, October 28, 2010

An allegory concerning creativity and the development of the individual

A day mostly given to conceptualizing the content of the mural and reconsidering the style of figuration at the upper levels.  I wiped out three of the first figures I painted last week and painted one full child figure and some masks with more naturalistic features, in keeping with the direction the mural is taking.  I still plan to insert more abstracted figures higher up but I need a better transition from what is well established below.    Still hoping to complete the upper levels during this week.  I have been removing planks as I finish areas so that I can see the composition a bit better.

This morning before going up the scaffolding I sat with my journal and strong coffee to take notes about the significance of the mural as it grows day by day—metaphorically, psychologically...socially. More in detail later, but I have a new understanding of my own work. The general theme of the mural is emerging as an allegory about creativity.  Of course music, the plastic arts, theater and dance are involved, but the "integration" I was trying to articulate became (largely in my unconsciousness) an allegory that I only now have started to realize and so I can advance the content with greater efficiency.   I might be easier to have all of this in mind before beginning, but my mind and energies don't seem to work that way.  The work will suggest, in a vertical narrative, factors in creativity (innocence, authenticity, ultimate and existential solitude), the celebration of love, romance, the yearning for intimacy and the formation of personality (drama, the acceptance of roles and a split between interior and exterior forms of being in the world).

I am thinking in terms of the lowest level as the Theater of the the Persona, the social plane in which roles and masks create the illusion of being.  All is exterior to the authenticity of the individual.  Family is formed by such roles, children and parents, as is social unrest, cooperation, and the darker aspects of interactions such as suspicion, social fear, etc.

One layer above is the Theater of Transcendence, a watery and transparent place of love, romance and celebration, dance, the upward urge to merge, to form adult intimacy, to share individuality...

At the proportional golden mean between the ground and the top, at about 24 feet from the ground, is the Theater of Innocence and Creativity, symbolized by the infant in ultimate existential solitude, solipsism, introversion, pure being, nascent, untouched.  The infant is a symbol of creation--on a biological level--and will play well with the family of figures I plan for the ground level.  

The child figure between the infant and the man in love is pre-sexual, innocent but aware of the outside world.  The eternal child full of wonder and curiosity though still psychologically between attachments to the mother and the father (gestures to indicate this stance), not yet motivated by romantic love.

Above that is the Theater of Personified Powers, the realm of invented gods and devils, social pressure, demons and parental figures personifying all that is greater than the individual, all that restrains direct knowledge of the elemental forces....

Above that is the Theater of Elemental Forces, abstractly represented forces of light and darkness, tempestuous and terrible, billowing and beautiful. Subsequent panels will deal more separately with music (through abstract fields of pattern and luminous colors), dance and theater.

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