|Regions of the Heavens I. Oil on canvas with cotton stitching. 1000mm x 1000mm. Deborah Milligan|
|Regions of the Heavens II: A Helpless Longing. Oil on canvas with cotton stitching. |
1000mm x 1000mm.Deborah Milligan
Regions of the Heavens II: A Helpless Longing looks at one of the points where science and religion touch. It talks of a more active engagement, a greater desire to explain and understand. Its initial inspiration is a quote from George Bernard Shaw:
To me the sole hope ofhuman salvation lies in teaching Man to regard himself as an experiment in the realisation of God …… He must regard God as a helpless Longing, which Longed him into existence by its desperate need for an executive organ.
There are other concepts at play in this work too. One is the Thread of Life which weaves through many archetypal stories and is particularly symbolised by the Moraie. The Moraie are referenced in The Odyssey by Homer and also reflected in the actions of Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, who each day unmade her day’s weaving rather than cut the thread that symbolised her husband's life. In A Helpless Longing the thread itself is symbolic, not just the form that the thread takes.
The form however also references the 'Lattice of Life': that cosmic matter that possibly connects all aspects of the Universe. The threads in the lattice are carriers of matter, energy and thought, and have been described as ‘non-time, non-space grooves in which life will eventually run’. According to this theory the gaps between the strings are vital: between the strings there is nothing, nothing at all. Is this the ‘pause between the breaths’ of Hinduism? The ‘space between the atoms’? Some physicists theorise that, at a sub-atomic level, space has a foamlike substance, which has a certain synchronicity with the 'Lattice of life'. In his intriguing book 'Clap one hand for the Big Bang' , Ian Pullen from the Theosophical Society states:
Science is generally logical until it gets down to sub-atomic levels and the idiosyncrasies of Quantum Theory. Down amongst the muons and quarks of this universe, all sorts of peculiar and illogical thingshappen. Particles can be in two places at once; they can also ‘communicate’ with each other and seem able to foretell the future.
Out of interest there is a pretty cool site with clear descriptions of Quantum Theory (and other related theories) here. Regions of t
he Heavens Debor
I like the friction between all these thoughts: the helpless longing, the thread of life, the 'Lattice of Life' and Quantum theory. These concepts don’t sit comfortably together, there are broken lines and unanswered questions, leaps of faith – to me this expresses the mystery of life.
|Regions of the Heavens III: The Rift. Oil on canvas with cotton stitching. 1000mm x 1000mm.|
This series is a cyclic progression: accepting, exploring, accepting the next step, exploring from there. For we are in uncharted territory and that is how we must travel.