Monday, 5 September 2011

The Creatrix

The Creatrix, Mark Ryden.
Whilst working for Circus Oz in 2005 I bought a limited print by the artist Mark Ryden. I had been fascinated with him for quite a few years, but had yet to purchase a proper print. Getting a print would be the only way I could have an “original” Mark Ryden on my wall since his art has long ago became unobtainable for someone on a Circus Oz wage. The print I got was by far my favorite of his works, the Creatrix. I found the lithograph print on e-bay. It was my most extravagant art purchase to date so the pre-arrival excitement was heightened by worries about being ripped off.  It arrived and to my relief it was genuine and in mint condition. I loved it and still today spend significant amounts of time staring at it, taking in the thousand truths and connective wisdoms of the complex picture.

In September 2006 I was in New York with La Clique, (then Absinth now La Soireé.) Nights were spent on the edge of Pier 17 in a Spiegeltent. We did rocking shows and hung out with Uncle Rob, our Soprano security man back stage. But during the days I went to the American Museum of Natural History. I stayed in NY for four weeks and visited the museum 5 times. I loved their dinosaur exhibits, spending hours just staring at these relics from deep time, a concept that still fascinates me just as much today. But the exhibit that I spent the most time on was something they called the wall of biodiversity. Basically it was a wall full of life. Organized and arranged in an explanatory and visually arresting manner. Standing before it everything seemed so beautifully connected. The lighting of the room, the whole atmosphere of the exhibits and the solemnity of the museum had deep impact on me.

Then on my last day hailing a yellow cab to go to the airport I buy an art magazine I had never read before. It was called High Fructose and it had a reproduction of a Mark Ryden print on the cover. I got a cab, got on my flight, opened the magazine to the interview with Ryden and found this:

The Wall of Biodiversity.
“The Creatrix is not about Creationism in the simple-minded Christian sense, but it is about the sublime mystery of life on earth. The painting was inspired by a visit to the Natural History Museum in New York. There is a room there called the Hall of Biodiversity. On a single wall the huge range of life forms on earth is displayed. In the painting, I wanted to capture the monumental feelings and thoughts this exhibition inspires in me.”

Now when I look at her, the Creatrix, hanging in my hallway, everything seems even more beautifully connected.

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