(Work since and around the bombing)

Which Way?

30" x 20"

oil on board.

for sale


In the film The Year of Living Dangerously there is an Indonesian shadow puppet theatre in which the shadows of two puppets are cast onto a sheet by a light shining from the back. The two puppets depict the two forces which rule the world. Through the workings of the puppeteer, first one puppet dominates over the other. But then gradually the other gains strength and eventually bursts out on top of the first one and dominates it for a period of time before the whole thing repeats itself back the other way around, the first puppet bursting its way back above the second one. Using this model, the energy in the world slowly but inexorably swings back and forth between these two forces, akin, in some ways, to the Yin-Yang symbol.

September 11th feels as if we've gone through one of those major shifts of one puppet bursting up above the other.

One could think of the 'freedom into chaos' puppet bursting onto the scene with the 60's, but because all that initial 60's freedom has been so misused and abused and finally reached an extreme moment of chaos on September 11th, the 'power into control' puppet has begun to push back extremely hard and has ever since been attempting to gain the ascendency again. The tussle between the two puppets, or forces, is gigantic. It feels as if we're now on the brink of greater and greater chaos. Yet, in time, out of the chaos that will no doubt ensue over the next decades, a new order could establish itself. If, and when it succeeds in gaining the upper hand, it will establish itself and then will most likely be around for some time to come.

If it manages to get the chaos under control and if we somehow do manage to pull the world back to rights, this might one day give us a sense of safety again. It will feel as if we've saved ourselves from destruction by chaos - planetary & personal. By then, the control will probably be everywhere. And then it will be time for the freedom puppet to make its re-appearence.