On a 21 day trip down the Colorado river of Grand Canyon last October 2018 I was musing with some friends about the need for new words to describe Nature. It was largely born out of a sense of frustration and linguistic impotence. I felt there were simply not enough words in the English language to describe the web of such an incalculably rich phenomenon like Nature.
In that particular case I wanted to use a word that described the intelligent qualities of Nature and its unique ability to send messages to all of us, ones that are important for us to understand.
So I created the word mysten, and loosely defined it as an important or even vital message sent by Nature for us to consider. The message could be in the form of a dream, or an animal, or a sound, or a conspiracy of events, and so on. From there I began a series of paintings, and these imaginary creatures arrived.
I see these creatures as benevolent, sent to us to act as messengers and intermediaries between ourselves and other animals who we have lost a direct connection with.
From there I began creating imaginary new works on the possibility of human transfiguration - what a complete change of form or appearance into a more animal and spiritual state would look like. This was partly inspired by a moment a few years ago when I was deep in the forest and came upon a bull elk, and this majestic creature stared at me in such a way, unwavering, that I felt I was being spoken to.
More next month
June 22nd, 2019