Friday, November 19, 2010

Fished Out

Fished Out

The world was made of fish, there was nothing else on the menu.

Raised in a traditional Italian home where habitual faith in Christianity naturally blended into everyday life, questioning was not encouraged. Religious icons decorated the walls and golden religious charms adorned our bodies. Our days at school began in prayer. We had daily lessons with allocated lectures on the subjects of religion and faith. Before lunch, after lunch and before going home we prayed. The last thing at night before closing our eyes we prayed one last time.

Christianity's symbol is that of the fish.

The first piece reflects the strong unquestionable faith of youth and habit. Life is filled with a knowing that being on the right path on this Earth, would be rewarded in the next. Life was in a large way simpler and more complete as there was no need to search for the right answers - they were all there in the text. We were proud wearing the symbols of faith on our bodies for all the world to see. The first piece, complete with fish and bright colours, reflects the view that all the elements are in harmony.

The work becomes more raw and grittier as doubts begin to creep in. The subject that was once force fed is now viewed through different eyes. Questions are raised. There is a revelation as the losing of trust crosses over and manifests as also a loss of identity. This is signified by the layers of tissue obscuring parts of the face. The world becomes very abstract, it is no longer the dark ages of yesteryear. With a renaissance comes doubt, uncertainty with no freedom. This renaissance is also reflected in the art, going from the realist to the stylized. The fragility of the tissue paper acts as an analogue of the fragility of the human condition, certainties easily torn and ripped asunder. The wire net wraps over the images trapping them in a confined world.

Anger is the catalyst, it is the vehicle that drives movement. The God of War, Mars, rampant on the field. However, this is letting go of a lifetime of beliefs and this is not easily done. Inner conflict is created. Much analyzing is at times accompanied by guilt, and guilt lingers on for some substantial time.

Eventually, after much deliberating, you awake to a new day, where the past is no longer impinging on the present. The wire has been cut and the slate has been wiped clean and there is a freedom to wander in a new direction and to be yourself.

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