It is always six o’clock now Series

It is always six o’clock now is a famous sentence from the book “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). I found the earliest reference in Mac Millan and Co. 1866 edition, but not in the earlier handwritten version called “Alice’s adventures underground“.

Lewis Carroll, a well-known and respected mathematician at the time, wove mathematical concepts into his stories. One article in for example Nature Journal gives a clear overview of how space and time was perceived during the era Lewis Carroll wrote his books. A slide series in Slideshare shows another way of looking at the role of mathematics in Carroll’s work.

The use of the (world) egg and time, or serpent perhaps, came together in these works. Here a quote from a text of the The 28th degree of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction (Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept):

“In the Orphic Mysteries there is an egg surrounded by a serpent. This signifies the cosmos encircled by a fiery creative spirit. The egg, apart from the cosmos, also represents the soul of the philosopher and the serpent the Mysteries. When initiation takes place the shell of the egg is broken and the man emerges from the embryonic state of physical existence and this of course ties in with the symbolisms of the Masonic initiation where one comes from the dark into the light.)”

I am by no means an expert in these matters of (secret) societies, but I am interested. Also, I feel no big urge to explain nor proof and perhaps that is why I like art so much. In art I can freely express my own interpretations and not have to be right about something. This is especially important in my process as much happens in a very intuitive state.

This series I painted for example whilst listening to “THE ATHOS OF THE NORTH – The Monastic Choir of the Valaam Monastery. Precentor Hierodeacon German“. Music such as this brings me into a state of mind where I do not think much any more, a meditative state so to speak.

The paintings have about 20 to 30 layers of transparent acrylic medium with some paint. The cardboard has become very stiff because of this. I like to work with these many layers, it added to the meditative atmosphere. The paintings I did after a series of failed paintings about imaginary steampunk beetles.

The Beetle Plate Series – 2020

Much inspiration for that series I got from old illustrations like this image:

Each of the three paintings in the series “It is always six o’clock now” suggests to me the scientific explanation about space and time and the relationship with the Orphic (world) egg. Hence, the use of the “Fig. 1” prints in the works. These characters are done with a laser print transfer after I had made the letters in Affinity Designer, my Adobe Illustrator and Sketch replacement.

All works are made on cardboard and the dimensions are 65 cm by 45 cm. There is a 1 cm edge on all sides where you can see the unpainted cardboard.