There is this small enclosed garden between the workshop and the house of artist Nanette Ranger in Paarl. It’s a different world out there; back to the origins of mankind.
Myths are based on ancient knowledge; from times long before Western- and Eastern religions although these make in abundance use of stories of old. Nanette is inspired by myths; for her it’s a way of re-connecting with who we are.
I have always been fascinated by mythology. Recently I’ve been reading up about mythology in the bible and this inspired me to create this composite photograph. Mythology is older than the bible and I wonder now if the bible is (partly) build on myths. Mythology is not restricted to one particular culture; it’s a global phenomena interwoven through all cultures. I also discovered that there are different bible versions depending on which Christian religion. For example: Deut 32:33 “Their wine is the poison of dragons” or “…. is the venom of serpents”.
Wether it’s Scandinavian-, Aboriginal-, Venda- or biblical mythology the meaning of the different symbols is the same throughout the different cultures (religions) around the globe.
Eagles (35 times mentioned in the bible), for example, symbolises the good and protection against evil; Owls stand for wisdom but mostly mentioned in a negative context (Leviticus 11:13-19); Serpents/Snakes (44 times in the bible) are evil as are dragons (35 times in the bible). History shows that the bible has been rewritten numerous times during the first 14-15 centuries by the Roman Catholic Church and after that also by its ‘spin-off’ (Calvin/Luther/etc.) churches. The essence of mythology in the bible however remained the same.
For the second photo-graphic imaginary I used elements from Norwegian mythology (Norske Miögatör), which also inspired JRR Tolkien, and added the known Christian peace symbol (dove) which also occurs in native American and Celtic myths. This composite was made for the festivities last September in Tulbagh (Western Cape, South Africa) commemorating the earthquake in 1969 .
“According to Aboriginal legend, emus were creator spirits that used to fly and look over the land. To spot the emu, look south to the Southern Cross; the dark cloud between the stars is the head, while the neck, body and legs are formed from dust lanes stretching across the Milky Way”. – ABC-Net Australia.
Dragons and eagles play an important role in myths from around the globe. Myths are, basically, about ‘good’ and ‘evil’. In the Venda culture in Southern Africa, for example, eagles represent the ‘good’ in narratives and ‘snake like monsters’ (dragons alike) the ‘evil’.
For this photo-graphic imaginary I used elements from Norwegian mythology (Norske Miögatör), which also inspired JRR Tolkien, and added the known Christian peace symbol (dove) which also occurs in native American and Celtic myths.
For this imaginary composite photo I used different digital processing techniques including textures, in-drawing and in-painting.
Available in a numbered series of 10 in commemoration of the earthquake in 1969. A selection of my work, including this series, on view in the Town Hall in Tulbagh 27-29 September.