Transition-Part-One-The-Battle-Artista-Eli-Shaw-2012

Transition-Part-One-The-Battle-Artista-Eli-Shaw-2012

I have depicted the first part of the transition between Fear and Love as a snake. The snake appears rooted in fear, but is attempting to cross to Love. It is being sacrificed by ‘ST. Michael’ who in Catholic religious tradition ‘drove Satan out of the garden of paradise’, signifying driving fear out of ones life by letting love in. This image also has multiple meanings. It signifies the pain that love can sometimes cause us. Mother Teresa once said ‘Love until it hurts’. Sometimes in life we have to let go our ego and feel uncomfortable, in order to keep the peace and avoid a conflict situation. This at times can clash with what we believe in, but it is sometimes, unfortunately, necessary. Killing an animal, a snake in this case, is very wrong, but often we sacrifice animals in order to save ourselves. This is echoed in Spanish Bullfighting tradition and is something I have already spoken about in my previous painting ‘Tradition, Fear, Loss and other Insanities’. It is about immortality triumphing over mortality. Sometimes people feel it is necessary to kill animals for food, or for business (money to buy food) as in the case of Bullfighting and hunting. In rare cases, in counties with not much food or industry, this might seem to be acceptable. It might also be acceptable, when animals are killed because of safety reasons, such when they attack us or spread of disease (as in the case of foot and mouth or malaria) because these are situations which determine the survival of both humans and other animals alike. But it would be far better not to kill animals, if we can avoid doing so.  Animals are a beautiful part of our world, which fascinate us and inspire us. They help our ecology systems to function properly and they are also our friends (when we keep them as pets, etc). Another reason I put the snake in is the snake is a symbol of knowledge. In Christian tradition it was the creature which persuade Eve to pick the apple from the tree of knowledge and thus this knowledge was seen to be ‘the down fall of man/the original sin’ leading to physical and emotional pain of humanity. The snake was also a symbol of positive practical and spiritual knowledge within early civilisations, such as the Egyptians and in the Hindu religious traditions. In both of these it is often seen coiled around the head of deities in the shape of the pinia (pine which corresponds to the part of the brain responsible for higher thought and knowledge and which has been said to be ‘The third eye’ (psychic ability, hence the reason for bindi wearing in India, which is said to symbolise hidden wisdom. Thus, the snake can represent both good and bad knowledge, which is another reason I have depicted it on both sides. The fact that St. Michael is killing it also represents the repression of religions to hide knowledge from the masses, in order to control them for both bad and good purposes.