Arrow Series

 

Garden of Earthly Delights

Garden of Earthly Delights

 These are from an ongoing series of mixed media works, currently numbering close to 100. They consist of arrows, usually red, painted on original antique prints, maps and antiquarian manuscripts, etc., but can also include objects. This is a form of cultural graffiti, intended to raise issues of appropriation, semiotics, symbolism and language, among other things.

I came to the arrow by trial and error. I was looking for a symbol that was generic, styleless and easily recognizable, something universal. Nothing worked the way the arrow did and the more I thought about it, as a symbol, the more interesting it became. It transcends culture, its meaning understandable to a Kalihari bushman and New York stockbroker and everyone in between. To my mind it was the first symbol, the first word, the origin of written language. That abstract leap of thinking in our common past, where a mark could mean something.

The arrow too has lots of implied meaning of its own. Not just directional, but action, movement, force, Time’s Arrow, Chi, life, existence. All big concepts, if you take a moment to think about it in this context. Its transitory, never still, always changing.