Exploring origins

Header image: Omphalos – finding new visual form for Nicholas Gulig’s poem ( links are shown in bold)

Thinking about what Whitman means when he writes at the end of section 2 of Song of Myself, …you shall possess the origin of all poems…, I see we already possess it, that origin, it is still there, hidden in our bodies and our being at levels visible and invisible. And it has been there since time immemorial and will always be there. I think of re-making the history of it when I begin a painting – always starting over, re-creating and re-creating from that. An accretion that is an accumulation of re-beginnings, palimpsest-like, clarifying at the same time as moving towards an endless complexity. All from its latent but unlimited initial potential, the outcome, the painting, is an emergent property of the continuously evolving past – an unbroken thread that connects us directly with origin. And it did not begin with life, life is just a vital point of reference to us. There is extension back in time as much as there is its extension forward into the future. All a continuum.

I like to rebalance these uncontainable thoughts, try to tie them down, and in so doing create an axis mundi.  This I find is always best done with the as-far-as-we-know-them, facts of science. Here is one exploring the origins of life, the first cell membrane requiring lipid (oil) molecules. I paint in oil the material itself is emblematic of origin. The origin of us, of me. All is a continuum an unbroken line connecting the source and the unfolding future horizon.


It is wonderful how science and art can complement each other even though their methods are so very different. It makes me want to verify my own painting scientifically, in a factual way. Pictopoiesis anchors me, practopoiesis a complementary factual point of reference as its validity is derived from scientific tests. Maybe I can create a symbiotic form, a painting that evokes a sense of synergy between them. Actually, that is what I wanted to do in Mind Mirror (see below)


notes to self: first there were lipid molecules//oil//oil painting//was once living, so keep it alive//homeostasis//culture//cultivate it//I am alive//I am its impetus//I am here and I am now//we are here and we are now//this instant will never come again//oleograms/lipograms//table of comparison between oils and fats//oleogram-ologram-hologram=interesting… line becomes circle, becomes cycle, spiral… on and on (action research)

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