“To fade away at the end of a long life is a blessing from the gods; to die prematurely is a curse.”
― Claude Lecouteux, The Return of the Dead
“The noun fylgja, formed from the verb “to follow, to accompany” (fylgja), referred in some ways to an individual’s double, comparable to the Egyptian Ka and the Greek eidolon. It was a kind of guardian angel that took the form of a female entity (fylgjukona) or an animal that protected the family or person it had adopted.”
― Claude Lecouteux
There is a world within our world, a hidden world where other creatures much like us but of a different order in their apprehension of our earth and its life live and who interact with us in ways we do not understand and fear. They are the protectors of forests, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, deserts, and seas. They were here before us and will be here long after we are gone. We call them for lack of knowledge ‘spirits of the earth’ or ‘genius loci’ and other such descriptors but they are much more than that. They are not always nice, sometimes they are very nasty and mean creatures only because they perceive our lives as such and mirror us in the black mirror of our own hatreds and unkindness’s. Gnomes, sprites, ogres, kobolds, pixies and the thousands and one variations of such beings that roam the hinterlands of our imaginal live in a separate space, and intermediary world where the dead and the living commingle with each other and other creatures. It is our world seen from a different perspective and through a black mirror that reflects our dark desires for light and freedom.
Yes, this is just exactly what I’ve sought, to make them come alive not as stereotypical or archetypal but as actual beings that are part of our world that we have turned a blind eye too for far too long. The natural forces of earth, air, mountains, lake, pool, forest, desert, etc. the elementals that we’ve allowed ourselves to push away into either folklore or psychologism. They’re neither a projection of our hopes and fears, nor of our introjected animistic stupidity. They exist in the intermediary realm of the imaginal that the ancients knew so well.
Christianity and other monotheisms have for two-thousand years demonized these beings, reviled them, castigated them and dismissed them or made them into Saints if the local indigenous peoples would not end their communications. The Religious mind of monotheism has always misunderstood the heathen, pagani, and tribal-clan mind and sought to interpret it in their ignorance. The Enlightenment and sciences did the same from a secular perspective. None truly tried to know it as it is. A world without us because we walked away from it, but it did not walk away from us.
Only those who opened themselves to these forces through either the extreme form of Shamanic flight or of Vodoun possession know of what it is to be in this world but not of it. We as modern creatures live in small worlds with our blinkers on like rats in an invisible maze. We are blind to the greater universe surrounding us.
My art seeks to do one thing to open up this world that has been hidden for far too long to machinic intelligence and allow it to discover through the millions of images we as humans have accumulated and pushed into this external world of virtual darkness. Allow these intelligences that are non-human and inhuman to mirror our truths back to us through the black prism of that abyss we refuse to see.