Roots of the Ecological Self:
Images and Text by Jonathan Metcalf
was interested in the power of nature and the reality behind European
folklore and the underworld tradition. I explored this by concentrating
on the hidden: the interaction of light and dark in places we may
not see. One has to get one's knees dirty and crawl into the thicket
or into the womb of the forest to see sunlight playing on the forest-floor
or a shaft of light picking out the leaf of a nettle: the 'Heart
of Darkness' if you will.
the paintings changed from pathways and hidden groves to focus on
the actual relationship of intense points of light on leaves or
bark, to the darkness in which they were immersed. My paintings
became darker and darker and the green, reds, whites and blues from
the light become sharper, smaller, but stronger also. I found myself
turning more and more to abstraction and exploring how darkness
defines the light. (So much of our true knowledge must be gained
by facing the fear and travelling through the darkness in order
to KNOW that light) It was turning from a kind of German Romanticism
to a reflection of the cosmos in nature: the "elsewhere"
of physics, where time/space didn't exist. Then I realized the patterns
I was creating with nature were the cosmos: the light of the leaves
were the stars, the flash of sun-lit gold from the bark of the tree
was the curve of the super-nova, the splash of day-light in the
shadows the galaxies. The macrocosm is in the microcosm, and vice-versa.
Click on the image to see an enlargement
and the gallery of Jonathan's other artwork.
Sphere represents knowledge inherent in nature, and the symbol of
perfection, it is the power of nature waiting to be rediscovered,
for we are literally part of her fabric; from the synaptic spark
of the neuron to the spiral of our DNA. Knowledge is the sphere.
The process of knowing through nature is at the root of the Ecological
Self, which is I believe is essentially another word for soul or
fragment of the universal Mind.
a commercial artist working in London, Jonathan Metcalf has been
exhibiting his own work as an independent artist, and is currently
about to start work for an Holistic Education Foundation in Liverpool.
Jonathan has plans to train as an educator with the view to teaching
art with an ecological emphasis.