Mythological Determinism

NinaCookWEBvite2015
18 March - 15 April

Mythological Determinism

“Of all the distinctions between man and animal, the characteristic gift which makes us human is the power to work with symbolic images: the gift of imagination. The power that man has over nature and himself lies in his command of imaginary experience. Almost everything we do that is worth doing is done first in the mind’s eye.” Jacob Bronowski (condensed from a speech to the American Academy of Arts and Letters).

Myth is how we understand and communicate aspects of our world that we do not fully comprehend – it is traditionally our way of trying to wrest control from perceived chaos & to pass lessons throughout generations.

Determinism is the doctrine that all events, including human choices and decisions, have sufficient causes, and that they exemplify natural laws.

Mythological Determinism is the idea that mythological beliefs (no-matter how out of context) influence both our perception of the present and consequently how we shape the future. Modern physics and observation of global and local events show how the human race has a powerful influence over natural laws.

Each work is a present day fable that explores how we choose personal mythologies from an eclectic pick ‘n mix, in which depth of understanding is lost to our overriding sense of entitlement and habits of convenience.  This context influences our perception of the present and consequently determines our future. There is a lot of modern mythology around current issues, but I think that by observing the effects of older myths we are slightly less defensive and therefore more able to view and think with an open mind.

These works represent, initially, a conversation I have with myself (around the above concept). As I research, paint and think, my view fills out, becoming more nuanced, layered and complex. When seen and interpreted by others, the conversation continues to broaden and/or aspects are clarified.

Sometimes I like to work in a more rawly emotional, less mannered and – on first glance – illustrative way, but am loathed to lose the accessibility and invitation to conversation that working in this more broadly accessible way encourages.

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