Everywhere you turn in Amsterdam, your eyes feast constantly on panes of glass with colour and quirk and tableaux of life made all the more beguiling for the sense of peering at them through windows. The things I photographed the most were almost always under glass; shop displays, flowers, plants, curiosities…why this human fascination (which I share) with glass boxes, domes and terrariums? Because the transparent wall, the sense of looking into something as though into another world or dimension, helps us to see and appreciate beauty even more than when we can touch or be part of it. Our addiction to a sense of a fragile demarkation between one reality and another feels like it underlies the whole reason for the hemispherical divisions of our own brain; the reason we evolved to have distinctly left and right-brained experiences, which was not always the case. Before such a partition came onto our evolutionary path, we were up to our elbows in everything in this universe, so much so we didn’t know where we ended and “other” began. When we create structures, using the most “logical” aspect of our minds, we see the sublimely illogical, the most unfeasibly beautiful and pointlessly glorious aspects of life all the better. Through the window of our own minds, we allow for some things to just be for the sake of being so life enchantingly beautiful for the eyes and soul, no other reason necessary…and Amsterdam was like a feast of such windows…
Extract from Amsterdam – where left meets right
Glass Butterflies is a growing collection of photographs depicting butterflies in juxtaposition with glass: under frames, next to windows, inside glass houses…a metaphor that has deeply informed my painting, writing and thinking for a number of years. As well as taking me on a journey of deeply personal exploration, these synchronistic experiences have everything to do with releasing the Sacred Feminine from her “box” whilst learning to appreciate how that feminine aspect can be allowed to settle upon a much more equal and balanced relationship with the male-oriented, left-hemispherical “structures” of our three-dimensional reality. In a sense, the butterfly learns to work with “the box” on her terms and in ways that enhance her innate qualities; which is the very marriage of fluidity and form that underpins the art-process, taking “inspiration” through the journey of the creative act to where we have something tangible that we can interface with as a three-dimensional form of expression. As you can tell, the metaphor has many layers and continues to develop as one of the long-running themes of my experience.
Some of the most closely related posts are Year of the Butterfly, Glass Butterflies, Out of the Box, Graceful Journey – Scandinavian Experience, Released from the Jar, Out of the Blue, Spilling over the Edges, The Marriage of Art and Space, A Pool With No Sides and as above Amsterdam – Where Left Meets Right.
The ever-growing collection of photographs can be viewed by clicking on the image below: