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The Impact of Imagery

I am very sensitive to imagery. As someone who has studied art history, aesthetics and psychology, I can read a picture like a book; I can listen to a speech or read an article in search of its messages and subtexts, the implicit and explicit. I don’t read newspapers anymore. I don’t watch TV. I can’t even listen to the radio most of the time. If I do I must do so with great detachment.

The implicit messages of our culture are cynical and horrific. Worse than this, they are extremely deceptive. I do not enjoy being lied to. I do not enjoy being told I am an isolated meaningless speck that must earn approval from beyond myself. I do not enjoy the valueless vacuous idols that are forced upon the public imagination, or the implausible standards pushed forth as what we should aspire to. I do not enjoy the unspoken acquiescence to a culture based on the servitude and suffering of the many for the aggrandisement of a yet still unfulfilled few.  I do not enjoy being treated like a simpleton.

But I am aware of the impact of imagery.

These things are presented as ‘how the world is’. Yet they are as true as a work of art or a poem is true. They are perspectives and perspectives are shaped. Shaping entire eras.

Keep someone isolated and they’re easy to manipulate and control. That seems to be what current popular culture attempts to do to us psychologically. Lonely people buy shit and do as they’re told with a craving for outer approval that can never be sated. Such unfulfilled lives seem the cornerstone of modern economics and the spiritual crisis of our time.

We are deceived into compliance, more often than not unable to explore our authentic selves. Such expressions are deemed unimportant and peripheral at best, self-indulgent at worst. Yet those who pursue this path radiate meaning and purpose in a world rendered void by a general sense of nihilism.

Our culture has no grand narratives beyond plundering each other and the Earth to the bitter end. How sad and childish that this seems the most captivating meaning we have conjured from the gloriously blank canvas nihilism presents us. We could paint anything.

Go within. You are not alone. Go within. You are loved and you are beautiful. Within you know this. But your mind has been trained to fight that inner knowing by a sick and self destructive society populated by sick and self destructive people, cut off from each other by illusions and stunted development. To extricate yourself from this will be the most difficult task you could ever undertake, for you must face it alone. But in doing so you will find it to be the only thing worth doing. Your suffering will become a source for the surcease of suffering. Your loneliness will become loving awareness and interconnectivity. Your within will become your without.

Go within, become who you are and paint a better world with me.

Good luck getting these presents! Happy Holidays everyone :)

Book books books #2

Here are some of the book covers and illustrations I’ve worked on lately. Click on the pictures for more info about the art and where to purchase the books and show your support for these fabulous authors. If you would like to commission a book cover or illustration from me feel free to email me at Janice.duke@hotmail.co.uk There is a waiting list of one to two months, so please book yourself in as far in advance as possible. Books books books #1: [Click Here]

Where Golden Eagles roam and Hen Harrier and Merlin soar, where Golden Plovers and their Pages wander across hauntingly beautiful stretches of vast wildness, where Black-Throated and Red-Throated Diver, Greenshank and not-so-Common Scoter come to raise their young in still silent pools, on one of the largest and most diverse blanket bogs on Mother Earth, this is the place that Scottish and Southern Energy has chosen to further destroy to build a wind farm.

2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, so it seems cruelly ironic that it is now that SSE pushes to put short term financial gains over the long term welfare of the nationally and internationally important habitat that is the Flow Country. Currently being considered for status as a World Heritage Site, the Flow Country is arguably the biggest jewel in the crown of Scotland’s natural heritage. Over 400 million tonnes of carbon are stored beneath the bog, well over double the amount of all of the UK’s forests, and all the iconic endangered species I mention above rely on this place to raise their young.

Wind farms are supposed to produce ‘green energy’, but the energy produced by this project might as well come from coal, gas or oil, the impact it could have on an already fragile and damaged landscape and imperilled wildlife would be disastrous and set a horrendous precedent. The proposed site has already been damaged by previous reckless efforts in the name of short term financial gain by planting forestry, now virtually worthless. This wasteful destruction could be put right by restoring the forestry to bog, as has already been done in many places by the hard work of the RSPB. Much of this important work is done by volunteers, and I proudly count myself among them.

Quite apart from the fact that the very bog that could be restored from this site would be worth far more in terms of reducing our carbon footprint than any wind farm and that further destruction would be adding insult to already senseless injury of this landscape, the danger the turbines would pose, through potential for collision, to iconic and beautiful species such as the golden eagle is completely unacceptable. SSE claims such damage can be ‘mitigated’, such rhetoric is often thrown around for the sake of green wash, these birds are irreplaceable, knowingly putting them in any danger whatsoever is unforgivable, full stop.

Please show your concern for this internationally important landscape by emailing your objections to the proposals to the Scottish Government’s energy consent unit at representations@scotland.gsi.gov.uk and please copy to Highland Council at planning.sutherland@highland.gov.uk.

The site is called Strathy South, more information can be found here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/media/releases/353694-rspb-scotland-set-to-object-to-a-damaging-wind-farm-proposal-threatening-the-flow-countryTag

Art Conspiracy?

If anyone can debunk this I would be very interested, in the meantime I shall view it as plausible:

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I never liked Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and their ilk, that sort of bullshit art really doesn’t do it for me, seems like laziness and naked profiteering on the part of the artist, and although I do manage to find good modern art every now and then I still do not think there has been a decent art movement since the surrealists, an art movement with the stated goal of carrying people into an unimaginable world. Pretty politically dangerous, much like alternative spirituality, philosophy and the generally psychedelic, such art gives people ‘funny ideas’ and governments don’t tend to like that, whereas bullshit art in no way attacks the status quo or encourages us to really think, two of the many things art can do oh so well.

Visionary art could be a great art movement, perhaps it will be, only time will tell.

A3 posters £6 each, plus £3 postage
£33 for eight, plus £3 postage

Postcard size A6 posters £3 each, plus £1 postage
£15 for eight, plus £3 postage

Available Designs:

Anubis (A3 and A6) Bast (A3 and A6) Sekhmet (A3 and A6) Set (A3 and A6)

Horus (A3 and A6) Thoth (A3 and A6) Isis (A3 and A6) Osiris (A3 and A6)

Artemis (A3 FEW LEFT and A6) Athena (SOLD OUT) Hades (A3 and A6) Kali (A3 and A6)

Griffin (A3 and A6) For the Muse (A3 and A6) Angels (A3 and A6) Fenrir (SOLD OUT)

Email me: Janice.duke@hotmail.co.uk

Paintings Sale (SOLD)

All are stylishly mounted, framed and ready to hang on your wall.

Click on image for a closer look.

“Open Your Heart” A4 in A3 size frame. £140, plus postage.
“Reverie Reality” A3 in A2 size frame. £200, plus postage.

“Four Seasons (Tawny Autumn, Barn Winter, Little Spring, Shorty Summer)”
A5 in A4 size frames. £30 each or £100 for the set, plus postage.

“The Ritual” A4 in A3 size frame. £50, plus postage.
“Caduceus” A4 in A3 size frame. £50, plus postage.

Email me: Janice.duke@hotmail.co.uk

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