michael eather: adventure play ground
“We use our imagination not to escape the world but to join it” - Iris Murdoch
“He who would know the world should first manufacture it” - Immanuel Kant
The light-hearted title adventure play ground suggests a framework for a simplified world-view acknowledging that nothing after childhood can ever be that serious! Going back to the child within us we might better understand the value of symbolic play and risk taking in the world. These new artworks aspire to an intuitive sense of wonder, many are optically bright and playful but with an edge of mystery.
An ongoing theme is recognising the two essential forces at play within the narrative game. On one side is the realisation of our own story - our life experiences; on the other, our conceptual processing of it. A classic two worlds opposition, distinguishing patterns between real and imagined; mind and matter.
In much popular literature and film, the classic allegory of the call to adventure centres on the archetypal hero mythology of seeking meaning in their quest. Author Joseph Campbell who deeply explores this theme in ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ writes: The adventure may begin as a mere blunder… Ultimately, I believe artists create their own mythology…and as such we live inside the story. We unite through stories. My artwork is often a form of negotiation, to fit into my story.
Enduring themes and symbols such as floating stingrays and rocks, maps, oval portals and mirrors - reappear. When regularly asked ‘what do they really mean?’… which I often am, I may give oblique or ambiguous answers. Ultimately, I tend to think that any “quest for meaning” has become an unfolding visual game in which the stingray is often the central thread and these contradictory inside/outside metaphors have simply become an integral part of a bigger adventure… Step inside!