This piece is inspired by the works and genius of Carlos Castaneda, Salvador Dali, Hindu philosophers, Gaia Herself, and a true tale of perspective alteration:
When a famous physicist was giving a lecture on the then-relatively-new discovery that the Earth is round and floats in space, he was challenged by an old lady who insisted on the more established view that -as the Hindus had put forth- the Earth is flat and is supported on the backs of four giant elephants.
The physicist asked her what, then, supported the elephants? She retorted that as everyone knows, they are on the back of a gigantic tortoise (this mythic image is also used by Terry Pratchet in his 'Discworld' series of magickal fiction).
What then supports the giant tortoise? enquired the physicist (with I daresay a modicum of patient derision). The old lady was bewildered for a moment before retort(ois)ing: 'You can't fool me mister! It's tortoise tortoise tortoise ALLLL the way down!!!'
So here Gaia -the embodied planet Earth- is seen shifting both her ass (which is obviously quite well-rounded well as much as I could manage in a flat 2-dimensional representation) and her 'Assemblage Point' -the latter being a term coined by Carlos Castaneda (or possibly his mentor Don Juan, although according to researchers the validity of this being on the physical plane is as questionable as the tortoise myth) in his series of books on the Art of Dreaming and its intersection with 'ordinary' reality.
The basic premise of the 'assemblage point' is that it is perspective which creates our reality -similar ideas may be found in in Quantum Physics which seems to be the scientific angle or perspective on the same thing- and if an individual shifts their 'assemblage point' (via meditation, ritual, entheogenic sacraments, lucid dreaming or other shamanic techniques) then their whole reality will alter accordingly.
So here we have not just a human individual shifting their perspective but Gaia Herself -the collective consciousness of our planet Earth (and even the idea of the planet having consciousness is a shift in perception from the Age of Reason's point-of-view) -presumably inclusive of all life thereon- shifting into another mode of perceiving and therefore being -from flatness to roundedness.
Thus She is getting up off the back of the giant turtle (which already seems to have somehow swapped places with the elephants in justification of Dali's elephants' legs stretching off into infinity) to beCome an independent (and three-dimensional) body in space...
The point is this: From the human perspective (or N'atonic Assemblage Point) Gaia was considered flat for many millennia -so effectively she WAS flat as far as humanity was concerned. Now this has shifted (although I could be fooling you with 3-dimensional illusions. How rounded is your computer screen?) We create our own realities. The next big shift in collective consciousness awaits...
In terms of the Artwork rather than subject matter, I have noted an interesting reflection:
This is the first time in about seven years I have used full colour in my art, that is with painting rather than photographic or video work. The original pen sketch for this picture was done in Switzerland in 2003, in a car on the way back from a visit to the H.R.Giger Museum (which inspired me greatly and shifted my own assemblage point accordingly), and I later coloured it in in Photoshop, attempting digital painting (experimenting with opacity, layers etc.) for the first time. Soon afterwards I also embarked on my first oil painting -'Kalas from Kali' in seven years or so.
What has occurred to me after the culmination of this rendering process, is that the colour and texture I have employed create an illusion of rounded 3-dimensionality much more than my usual pen flat line-drawings. So, the form reflects the theme, or - I have shifted my own assemblage point in the process.
Of course all of the above philosophical rambles were only subconsciously present when I first created the image, by Dali's 'Paranoiac-Critical Method' of surrealism as dreaming made conscious. For truly Salvador was a sorcerer who shared AOSpare's understanding of Art as a menstruum for magick by manifesting subconscious desires...
And a final note on the relationship betwixt Surrealism and Hindu cosmology:
Dali and Kali went to see in a pee-green boat
The sea was red and the fishes did float
Kali gloated over Dali,
Dali doted over Kali,
And used Her Kalas in His last great work, as a varnish
Kali in turn used Dali's moustache as a garnish
Media: Pen drawing scanned & coloured in Photoshop.
Drawn in Switzerland, painted in Melbourne.
(c)03 Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule