Angel of Death.

This image was done for a painting swap with David Bishop. I asked him what subject matter he wanted and he said ‘Death’.  So I started to think of all the things I knew about death. Here is my list:

  1. Death is universal and affects all matter.
  2. The opposite of Matter is Anti-matter/ Dark Matter.
  3. Upon death particles of energy are released from living matter and dead matter, of the living thing, returns to the soil.
  4. Lightening is:  the electric breakdown of air by strong electric fields, which produce a force on charges. When these charges move through a distance, a flow of energy occurs. The electric potential energy in the atmosphere then is transformed into thermal energy, light, and sound, which are other forms of energy.
  5. Energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length. The total energy contained in an object is identified with its mass and energy (like mass), cannot be created or destroyed (It is never ‘born’ and it never dies’. It just ‘is’).
  6. In particle physics antimatter is the extension of the concept of the anti particle to matter, where antimatter is composed of antiparticles in the same way that normal matter is composed of particles. For example, a positron (the antiparticle of the electron or e+
    ) and an anti proton (p) can form an anti hydrogen atom in the same way that an electron and a proton form a “normal matter” hydrogen atom. Furthermore, mixing matter and antimatter can lead to the annihilation  of both, in the same way that mixing antiparticles and particles does, thus giving rise to high-energy photons (gamma rays) or other particle–antiparticle pairs. The result of antimatter meeting matter is an explosion.
  7. There are nutrients in this matter which can be recycled into new living forms.
  8. We are 80% water, which also goes back into the atmosphere.
  9. Essentially we do not ‘end’, we are just ‘recycled’ without a brain and therefore do not perceive in the same way as we do now in our present form.
  10. We are one with the universe. Our life cycle is just part of our presence.
  11. Time does not exist outside our concept of it. It exists only as an indication of our own life span and the life spans of living matter around us.
  12. Our purpose is to reproduce and nurture our species in order for the survival of the species.
  13. In order for our species to survive, we also need to make sure our planet and other species of animal and plant life survive. Without these we will die along with them.

14.  Death is often communicated in art by ‘The Angel of Death’ who is seen as a merciful character, delivering us from pain and fear.

15.  The Personification of Death (The Grim Reaper)  in it’s male form is seen as a destructive character and carries a scythe  to ‘sever the last ties between the body (matter) and the soul (energy)

16.  In Hinduism the Kali is a goddess of death who clears the path in order for new life to be created. She is traditionally depicted with blue skin.

17.  In art, Post Modern conceptual art often uses dead matter and exhibits it as found objects.

18.  Anti –art comments of the destruction of society and art and discusses the meaning of life using dead matter, whereas Re-modernism movements, such as Stuckism: ‘re-modernise’ art, incorporating ‘a renewal of Spiritual values for art, culture and society to replace the emptiness of current Postmodernism’  (An Antidote to the Ghastly Turner Prize, The Stuckists, Victoria Press), using matter which has been recycled from it’s dead state into something new. For example, oil paint, acrylic paint and charcoal are materials made out of dead matter but which are reborn into a new form owing to the passing of time and the chemical reaction methods involved in their making.

19.  Spirals are symbols of the workings of the universe and also a symbol of the process of dialectic. They are also found on ancient tombstones.

20.  Sunflowers grow seeds in an angle of a spiral. In Spanish the Sunflower is known as a Girosol (literal translation: ‘turn to the sun’).  This angle is: 137.5 degrees. It is known as the Goldern Angle  and is part of the Goldern Ratio. Ziesing wrote in 1854:

‘The Golden Ratio is a universal law in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form’.

21.  In 2010 Juliette Bingham, The curator of the Tate modern said ‘Ai Weiwei’s Unilever Series commission, Sunflower Seeds, is a beautiful, poignant and thought-provoking sculpture’. Yes, thought provoking because walking on the porcelain man made seeds which were supposed to discuss ‘Life’ was banned because the powder that was kicked up during this process actually was carcinogenic and could cause ‘Death’. Lol.

22.  Mounds in the landscape are often ancient burial places.

23.  Death is associated with pain because accidents and illnesses which cause death are painful.

24.  The subject of death in the arts is often represented symbolically as a skull.

25.  Death is unknown and, like Anti-matter, is a missing piece of a jigsaw that we will never know about because, on the point of death, our brain is destroyed and, thus, so are our thoughts and all previous knowledge we have learned, making our lives as individuals with egos futile, but elevating us as part of a bigger plan for the universe.

26.  The Death card in Tarot cards traditionally does not mean ‘Death’ it means ‘change’.

27.  The symbolism of purple in western culture is the meeting of the spirit with the body.

28.  Many people who have had near death experiences speak of entering into a bright light.

29.  People often speak of death as returning to the source of life.

30. Our death apparently occurs after 1 billion heart beats. See this link: FQXi Community. Our life span is controlled by the speed at which our heart beats and the speed at which our planet rotates (which creates the curvature of time Stephen Hawkins ‘The Universe in a Nut Shell’.

All of these ideas appear in this very small painting (15 x 20cm’s). See if you can spot where and how I have included them.