Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Through a Glass Darkly - Sunday Features 17/07/2011

As soon as I saw the image “Through a Glass Darkly” by Glitterfest, I knew that this would be the theme for the features this week. I was fascinated by the whole concept of the duality within. As Glitterfest explains, we sometimes look in the mirror and see the dark side, the imperfections, the shadow part of ourselves. Other days we can look and see a beautiful woman standing there, without all the repressed guilt and angst.
We punish ourselves all the time with guilt and angst about who we are and how we look. It is time maybe, to pause and reflect on this and for us all to acknowledge and celebrate that we do not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
There is a sense of yearning and sadness inherent in this image which moves me, but at the same time, Glitterfest allows us to see the beauty within.

Through a Glass Darkly © by Glitterfest

The intricate and complex pencil drawings by Janelle McKain, never cease to amaze me. Each one is full of strong symbolism, with hints of myths and legends, which take us from where we are in the present and move us back into the past. Her work is challenging, disturbing and thought-provoking.

“The Night Hides Your Truth” is no exception. Here we are indeed, looking through a glass darkly. She explores the complexity of the relationship between man and woman in a way that intrigues and tantalises. She invites you to think. The inspiration for the image came from a song by Creed, which contains the words…
Speaking to you
Take all this pride
And leave it behind
Because one day it ends
One day we die
Believe what you will
That is your right
But I choose to win
I choose to fight
To fight.

The Night Hides Your Truth © by Janelle McKain

The powerful charcoal drawing “The Complex Womyn” by electricstorm continues the theme. The image gives us but a small glimpse of woman and the complexities inherent within. Shades of dark and light pull us in and make us want to know more.
 electristorm explains…
“I started this month’s ago…fractions of blocking were left unfinished as I was unsure how to express my journey. But today something came alive within me…and now I’m sharing apart of my world with you. This drawing not only represents my journey but the journey of all womyn…”

The Complex Womyn © by electriclstorm

The concept of duality continues with the beautiful,Picasso-like portrait from tatefox. It is simple in its execution and all the more powerful for it. The message is clear“Inspired by the natural rhythms of our internal bodyclocks, cycling from daytime into the night… & so on.” tatefox
Circadian Rhythms © by tatefox

Sybille Sterk explores the dark side, with this intriguing image “Dissembling”. As with all her art, Sybille’s skills shine through in her techniques of photo-manipulation, merging and blending. This image is so skilfully created and yet, at the same time has a quality of ambiguity that enchants and intrigues. Sybille’s explanations of her work are always exceptional, taking us beyond the image itself into her own thoughts and feelings.

“This particular image is about the dark side we often hide even from ourselves. The more images I create in this series the more I realise that dissembling is about balance, or rather imbalance. The more we hide from ourselves the less balance we achieve and that leaves us less control over who we are and what we do. The dark side is there in all of us, but life becomes ever more politically correct and although anger can be a negative and destructive force if it is out of control, it can also be a freeing and constructive emotion if balanced with consideration and rationality. We need to accept our dark side and use it in the right way which is impossible if we negate the fact that it’s there in the first place, hence the name of the image.” Sybille Sterk

Dissembling – Welcome to the Dark Side © by Sybille Sterk

“Louche” by Rosy H brings a smile to my face each time I look at it. It is an image which questions and challenges us as women, yet, at the same time, is utterly sympathetic to the dilemmas we face. It is an image that stays with me, long after I shut down the screen. It’s clean lines, sharp contrast and sheer vivacity hold me in thrall.

Rosy explains her intention so well..

For literally weeks now I’ve been trying to find the words that fit the expression I see in that face. Now I have them.
“Tell me what I ’can’t’ and ’shouldn’t’ do and I’ll show you what I can and will do!”

“A pretty face, especially if it’s on a blonde, is often dismissed with “Don’t worry your pretty head about that”, for me, that was a like a red rag to a bull. Verrrry dangerous :) She’s my ‘pretty face’ getting ready to charge and prove that assumption to be the empty arrogance of all such patronising sayings.
There’s something about the 20s. Women were demanding more freedom, often at great cost. Clothing was more comfortable and quite often daring. It was an interesting time in every sense. Hard for us to appreciate what women went through to gain the freedoms we now take for granted. This snap was inspired by Kerry Greenwood’s heroine Phyrne Fisher.
Louche is my attempt to recapture some of the defiance of women at that time. I like the attitude of this one. Hope you do too." Rosy H

Louche! © by Rosy H

In this lovely image “She2” by Tammera, we see the same theme emerging. Who am I? What am I made of? Where do I fit? We see hints of the woman through the screen, hiding some parts and giving is glimpses of others. We are left in no doubt about Tammera’s inner core strength when we read her accompanying poem…
Sometimes she just feels numb
She removes her clothing to touch her skin
She wants to know if she is really there

Sometimes she feels too real
And the brush of someones hand
Sends singe of pain along her nerves

Sometimes she wants to leave this place
But she doesn’t know where to go
That will be safe and secure

Sometimes she feels too secure
And it seems as if lshe cannot breathe
from the smothering of it all

Sometimes she wonders
Am I the only woman who is like this
Am I crazy and all undone?

Sometimes she feels so lonely
She thinks she will not survive it
And wants to be touched
By anyone, who really cares

Sometimes she is overwhelmed
By all the people
and their constant chatter

But day to day
Hour by Hour
Minute by minute

lives it
Survives It
Is enthralled by it


© Tammera

SHE 2 © by Tammera

I love the art of Helena Wilsen-Saunders, with its highly detailed imagery and symbolism. She uses plants to express all aspects of our personality, sensuality and sexuality. This one is particularly sensitive and beautifully explicit.

“Digital light added to original coloured pencil drawing of Happy are the Dreamers.
By adding a light glow to the drawn moon and sun this image now seems to illustrate the concept of yin and yang. The two complimentary primal forces; Yin the feminine, the moon, darkness and negative energy and Yang the masculine, sun and positive energy. One cannot be in harmony without the other.”
Helena Wilsen-Saunders

Yin and Yang © by Helena Wilsen – Saunders

 ’The Decisive Moment’ by Carol M is an enigmatic portrait and tribute to her mother. We see eyes looking from behind her, questioning, seeing and accepting. It is also an invitation to consider the duality between happiness and sadness, strength and wekaness. Carol believe we have a choice in this…'

Have you ever felt yourself staring at the wall?
Have you ever felt an emptiness inside?
Have you every felt the tears stream from your eyes and you couldn’t stop the flow?

Life doesn’t guarantee us an easy journey
There will be times when heartaches come
There will be times of doubt, fear, and loneliness

You have the power inside to change
But it’s up to you to do it
We find excuses
I’m weak, I cant, I don’t know how
We want to place blame on anyone or anything
But never ourselves

It’s a decisive moment
It’s a time to reach inside for strength
It’s a time to reach outside for strength
It’s time to do whatever it takes
It’s time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off
And move on.

Life is what you make of it
Happiness doesn’t just come knocking on your door
You have to pursue it
You have to decide what you want in life
And go after it

We are faced with many decisive moments
Make your choice and pursue your dreams
No one can do it for you.

You can choose to be happy
Or you can choose to be miserable
What choice will you make?
It’s up to you

© Carol M

The Decisive Moment (Image and Writing) © by CarolM

This haunting image by Madworld reinforces the theme that we are not aware of our own beauty. We look in that mirror seeing our imperfections foremost, and overlook the beauty without and within. This low-key photo illustrates this beautifully.

She was totally unaware of her pure beauty © by madworld

The explanation to this powerful image by Heather King makes a fabulous artwork even more special. Heather is battling with the duality between positive and negative thinking, and the whole concept of femininity in general.

“These photos taken and layered together were done after a smudging in my home. after all the negativity was eliminated, i focused on everything positive, within and without. never under estimate the power of the nature, and femininity…combined can be a force to be reckoned with.
There is no feeling as powerful as being one in/with nature…standing alone bare foot in grass as you let the rain drench your every pore…nothing feels as pure and certain as this."
Heather King

Arnemetia © by Heather King

Finishing these features with “The Awakening” by Samantha Aplin seemed so appropriate. It tells the story of the power that women are seen to hold. It also shows the fear that men can have when faced with such power. Lets harness this power together.

“When the Spanish first arrived in Lake Atitlan they were camping somewhere around what later became Panajachel, when one of the young soldiers set eyes on a local Mayan girl washing clothes in the lake. Transfixed by her beauty, but fearing there was no way she would consider the advances of a Spaniard, he concocted a plan to win her over. He visited a local witch and asked her to cast a spell on a gold ring, which would ensure that she would find him irresistibly attractive.
The spell worked and the young Mayan woman fell in love with the Spanish soldier. However, a short while later, the soldier’s commander found out about the affair, and ordered her execution. Standing over her body, the commander saw the ring, and stole it from the body. A short while later, he started feeling irresistibly attracted to the young soldier, and fearing that the ring had something to do with his developing homosexual tendencies, he took a boat to the middle of Lake Atitlan, and disgusted, hurled the ring in.
The story goes that through the years the ring has passed its powers onto the lake, working its spell on all who venture here."

The Awakening © by Samantha Aplin

1 comment:

  1. This is just such a fabulous site. I love it!!


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