aperion III John F Audley

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,

Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend

More than cool reason ever comprehends.

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,

Are of imagination all compact.

William Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night's Dream. Act 5, Scene 1, 4-8

Duality. 2016. digital drawing.

In my work I explore what are traditionally seen as dichotomies — the relationship between religion and art, art and science and religion and science. Despite the common perception that these disciplines are mutually exclusive, there are certain truths and aesthetic qualities that transcend these separate entities. I intend to engage at the intersection of these entities and embody their binary nature in a concrete instance.

Instructions on Being. 2016. Pen and ink on paper. 36 x 24 in.

Is God that which my grandmother sees?

or merely the culmination of chemicals.

Male figure study. 2016. Black ink and gesso on paper. 36 x 24 in.

Religious symbols, manuscripts, and rituals as well as scientific concepts, apparatuses and microscopic landscapes inspire my illustrations. In merging these entities in my artwork, I engage in the representations of reality each attempt to communicate. I find beauty in deconstructing the boundaries that separate religion and science and embody this convergence within my artwork.

figurative studies. 2016.

The human figure has been a constant theme in my work; I find beauty not only in its physical existence, but in the metaphysical connotations that accompany the form. Man was made in the image of God, yet the human body is regarded as the perfect biological instrument. Brilliance and beauty are found in uncovering the process that govern the intricacies of the human body, yet there are human experiences unexplainable by science that are attributed to a higher power through religious belief. The body itself is a manifestation of man’s struggle between the physical and metaphysical — the perfect representation of science and religious myth coexisting and complimenting one another. The human form is a permeating theme in the final installation of aperion III.

copper wire studies. 2016.
The beginning or ultimate reality is eternal and infinite, or boundless (apeiron), subject to neither old age nor decay, which perpetually yields fresh materials from which everything we can perceive is derived. Apeiron generated the opposites -- hot-cold, wet-dry, dark-light, ect. -- which acted on the creation of the world. Everything is generated from apeiron and then it is destroyed by going back to apeiron, according to necessity. Infinite worlds are generated from apeiron and then they are destroyed there again.

William Keith Chambers Guthrie (2000). A History of Greek Philosophy.

aperion III communicates the shared truths and binary nature of science and western religious philosophy. The medium was chosen for its opposing aesthetics; the white charcoal on black asphalt paper represent the binary nature of both science and religion. Opposing forces permeate countless concepts across these entities — in the religious sense: life and death, human and the divine, good vs. evil; in the scientific sense: positive and negative, matter and intangible forces, scientific law vs. the unknown. The use of copper wire and nails adds a third medium and dimension to the piece, evoking another crucial numerical pattern shared by the entities: that of threes. Father, son, and holy spirit; proton, neutron, and electron; sulphur, magnesium and salt (1); the three trimesters; humata, hukhta and huveshta (2).

1 The three philosophical principles of alchemy and the primary organic functions that exist within all manifest creation.

2 To think good, to say good and to do good; the three principles of Zoroastrianism – a theology regarded as the first monotheistic religion.

Repetition is key in the drawing practice; the act of creating the radiant lines, geometric forms and small cellular dashes becomes a ritualistic experience akin to meditation.

The small repeated dashes built up to make the forms have an almost cellular quality; one begins to see how the repetitious units and marks compliment one another and work together to create the composition as a whole. This process reflects the pursuit of scientific knowledge, that is, to understand how the basic units of life and matter govern the existence of the universe as a whole. The same can be said for religious belief, however, religion often tends to look towards the one truth and assign meaning of the units from the "the whole". It was my intention to make this duality of comprehending reality evident in the mark making, allowing the viewer to see how the units make up the whole and vice versa.

Using binary mediums, religious and scientific subjects, and contrasting mark making, aperion III engages the dichotomy that is religion and science and blurs the division between these entities. I intend to engage the audience in these considerations and allow for an open interpretation as to how these entities intersect.

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves;

Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Kubla Khan. 31-34

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