Kim Evans - "Nature Imaginarium" - limited edition print of 50 - 40x56cm (15.7"x22")
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Archival Pigment Inks on 308gsm Archival Rag Matte (Hahnemuhle) Paper
Limited Edition of 50
40 x 56 cm (15.7" x 22")
Kim Evans - ‘Nature Imaginarium’ was partly inspired by my visit to the Natural History Museum in Vienna in 2002 and my feelings about the beautiful and divine complexities of Nature’s design. It was also partly a meditation on the masks or archetypes we associate with as humans, consciously or unconsciously. I was studying the Mische Painting Technique for the 2nd time in Austria. I had been given a book (in German) on Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations of microscopic organisms, the previous year by a fellow student there, and this time I had the opportunity to see the illustrations first hand. To see them had an impact, but what stayed with me, were the 3 dimensional glass interpretations of them, which were for me, magical, fragile and numinous.
In the painting, as a whole, the central figure is connected to and part of the ‘eruption’ of this ‘divine-nature’ growing from the crown of her head. Though she is connected to it, it also has a life and ‘vision’ function of its own, represented by the eyes in the flower-like forms and fantastical birds surrounding it. For me, the bird woman is in reverie. Aware of the associations between sadness and negative elements/shadows, shown attached at the back of her head and connected by a ribbon to a mask. It floats in front of her, seen, but not seen through. While she is ‘looking’ at the mask, she is also ‘seeing’ through the extension of white ribbon (positive elements/light) that extends from her forehead (third eye/imagination/vision) attached to an owl-like bird head (symbol of wisdom) who gazes at this manifested wonder of nature - (Nature Imaginarium).
Though not a direct reference in this painting, I do often reflect on something William Blake wrote that is etched in my brain, (though… apologies if it’s not entirely as he wrote it.)
- This life’s dim windows of the soul
Distort the heavens from Pole to Pole.
And lead you to believe a lie
When you see with
Not through the eye.