My project “Spheres” finds inspiration from several places, some old and some new. First the old. Believe it or not Aristotelian physics has played a role in this. Not that I know anything about it, but as a child I saw an image depicting his view of the earth as seen below. “The term was applied to four spherical natural places, concentrically nested around the center of the Earth, as described in the lectures Physica and Meteorologica. They were believed to explain the motions of the four terrestrial elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.”
My next piece of influence came from this work below. It’s known as the Flammarion engraving. The Flammarion engraving is a wood engraving by an unknown artist, so named because its first documented appearance is in Camille Flammarion’s 1888 book L’atmosphère: météorologie populaire (“The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology”). The engraving has often, but erroneously, been referred to as a woodcut. It has been used to represent a supposedly medieval cosmology, including a flat earth bounded by a solid and opaque sky, or firmament, and also as a metaphorical illustration of either the scientific or the mystical quests for knowledge.
Music has also made a huge impact on me, both blues and it’s child rock & roll. Having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s I listened to and grew up with in what is now considered classic rock era with such bands as Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, ELP, Pink Floyd, and Yes. It was with this last band that I found the artist Roger Dean. Dean is best known for being the artist of the album art for the band “Yes”. It always held an apocalyptic feel to it and the hope of starting over.
Though a very different influence, the Biosphere project was another motivation influenced these images. The Biosphere was a 3.14 acre enclosed experiment that lasted for two years. It was mankind’s effort to isolate and sustain human life in a way like Matt Damon did in “The Martian”. It represents self-sustaing life, the seeking of a new beginning, rejuvenation, and the transformative strides of humanity. While we learned for the experience, it failed miserably.
So it is with this ancient history and modern influence that I offer my take on Spheres. I hope you find it as intriguing as I do.
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