(Or Of The Topography of Tesseracts and the Ineffable Benefits of Entasis) – By John Howe
I spend a fair bit of time pondering the imponderables (that’s why it takes time) of fantasy imagery.
Fantasy imagery has been happening for a long time. In fact no culture, ever, has created ONLY realistic, down-to-earth, day-to-day and otherwise familiar imagery. Everything we set our eyes upon is deified, vilifeid, praised or ridiculed, or, with surprising regularity, sublimated by our desires and aspirations. Hence our dawning century of fantasy art, with little fantasy artists scattered the world over, who peer into looking glasses darkly Alice-fashion, hoping for a glimpse of the invisible, a hint of the ineffable, in the hopes of transcribing the sparkle of that particular glamour on paper/canvas/screen.
Sometimes it seems a shame we don’t build any more temples to Poseidon or Odin or commission artists to decorate the entrances to sacred groves or sculpt pillars for Irminsul. Of course, we can’t any more, at least not with a straight face, not with the scientific age disputing monotheisms for our attention and belief. Serious business, that, and not to be tampered with. So fantasy has packed its gypsy tricks in its tatterdemalion cloak and gone a different road, into make-believe.
Perhaps that’s where the saving grace of all this lies. It’s not entirely serious. Because from our extraordinary viewing platform we can see stars for real, poke around inside atoms and count all the numbers everywhere. Quite an accomplishment.
We can believe, often in the face of all evidence, often with grace and happiness, often simply with motions gone through, in whatever ultimate felicity or fate we inherit or choose. Quite a program.
Rather like a buffet – you know those salad bars, where you always try to cram too much on your plate? Sometimes opinions and beliefs to me feel just like that. Something we diligently or dutifully apply to our world rather than something we allow the world to offer because understanding is neither counting atoms nor having an exclusive on the truth. [More]