I'm creating new mythology! Meet your new gods.
I have embarked on a grand project that I have been toying with since before I attended art school at the UofA. I have done a lot of work in the realm of comparative religions independently for most of my life. My fascination with ancient pantheons began in 6th grade when I first learned about the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt and Greece. I devoured books on mythology, learning symbolic alphabets of iconography. As I grew up, I learned about even more pantheons, Norse, Celtic, Hindu, Arabic, Roman, and many more. I learned about Catholic saints, Kachina spirits, Orishas, animal spirits and myriad more fantastic creatures that inhabit our invisible, spiritual world. And the most fascinating things lie in the parallels between these spirits, and ultimately, that they come from the same place and are, in fact, the same spirit.
"Mythogenesis" will be a series of illustrations and later paintings that bring similar spirits back together, using all of the iconographies of each parallel spirit to create a composite image that reflects the dominant aspect of the deity. The title of each piece will be the name of the new God(dess) depicted, and the final piece will be done in the style of medieval sacred icons. The final paintings will be done in oil paint and gold leaf on panel. I'm attempting not only to create new myths, but pay tribute to the new spirits that these myths give rise to. I am drawing inspiration from ancient religious art, relief sculpture and statues, Russian icons, modern cartoons, pop culture and a host of modern artists and illustrators.
By fusing similar deities back together, I hope to impress upon the viewer that all of them are one. All of the thunder gods are thunder gods at the end of the day, be they Norse or Native American. No one religion is correct, but all draw upon the same wonder and awe, and the same spirit is present in each of them.
Here's what I've worked on so far.
I'm hoping to develop a stylistic language that can give new life to philosophical concepts and characters alike. Savior is a conglomeration of the mythical Saviors of Mankind from 5 ancient cultures, and Chrysalis is my commentary on sacred metamorphosis.
My room mate told me to do what I can right now. And the way I interpreted it isn't just to keep plodding along, but to do what you can RIGHT NOW. I can't worry about the huge finished product yet, it's way far off! I have experiments and small pieces to do before I sit down and begin work the huge finished products. So, baby steps. First Chrysalis to test out the gold leafing process, then some other experiments to work out paint and techniques and progression. After all of that, I'll start on Savior. And when Savior is done, I'll begin work on the other 7 pieces to go with it.
The broader scope of this project includes many tribute pieces to spirits, deities and sacred concepts. I plan to do multiple versions of the same image that focus on different aspects of the same deity and all kinds of fun stuff.
Super excited and super inspired. The frankincense helps. ; )