my gods


my gods are perceived at work in my life in so many small and large ways, yet never directly. perhaps vision itself is always interpretive: certainly that’s true of artistic vision which often must interpret through a complex symbolic language the impressions received by the artist in conceiving a work of art. this gets more complex when we realise that the gods are themselves, in effect, interpretations through a complex symbolic language of mythological idiom. this picture came into being with a powerful surge of speed, engagement and self-worth which had been lacking in my life. between fairies and space people, he represents a proud, aloof strangeness, bearing the scorn and ridicule of the spiritually immature, patiently waiting for sanity to be restored so that he can go on with the business of educating the planet, which he will soon do in the most enchanting way imaginable. well, okay, he hasn’t done nothing since the demise of celtria, he’s beein incarnating on other planets, zooming about the cosmos in alien guise, learning . . .

diotima teaching
the teaching of diotima

diotima is not normally thought of as a god, but without going into it, i’ll say that she has as good a claim as any to the title and that in painting this picture, i have met as real a friend, as snitchy an enemy, as wise and kind a counsellor, as competent a teacher, as pig-headed a prude, as vindictive an old school-marm and as wild-eyed and savage a virgin as any i have ever met on earth. she is a fine upstanding moral person, with grievances. gives out huge chunks of history fresh as a new-baked quiche, sounds, sights, smells, as if hot of the akashic presses. she knows her way around libraries. she is a kind and affectionate girl. she started blond, erupted violently after telling me something exquisite about the marriage of the king of england to the daughter of the king of france and the fashions in girl’s complexions at the time, then came back on so dark i had to rebuild the pallour with whole tubes of opaque white – but never could retrieve it, so here she is, pink. she was reading tirant lo blanc over my shoulder with me at the time. strangely she didn’t show up for don quixote, but she nubbled my sense of socrates somewhat and the research that initiated is on-going. oh, the little guy down the bottom, that she’s pointing to? that’s you, the viewer, the historian, the art-watcher, getting so deep into the detail that before you know it, there you are, six inches high, two inches from the apple and diotima giving a dating-etiquette lesson way out in the trees way back in the ancient past, amazed because yet another little man has appeared on her desk!

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