Terrance Lindall's Lost Bifolia . . .
Terrance Lindall was rummaging through his earlier oeuvre and sent me some images of what he'd found, along with permission to post them. I'll include his remarks, posted in block-quote form beneath each image. First comes the room of his rummaging:
Note those black tea and coffee urns. That's silver that has nor been polished in 35 years. The coffee urn belonged to the Tiny Tim Society, whatever that was.A bit of alchemy will bring those 'Dorian Gray' urns to shine again, even while purifying the soul of its baser material. While Terrance contemplates those musings, let us go forth into the past and gaze into the outpourings of his amusing muse, what at first glance appears to stem from his days as illustrator for such magazines as Creepy . . . except for what Terrance tells us:
I once spent about a year writing notes for what I thought was going to be great philosophical short story. Recently in sorting my notes from the past forty years I came across it. It was about Beauty and the Beast. In it a man has a conversation with the animal side of his character. It is like Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov where the prince has a conversation with the devil. It was sort of like CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters too. The beast argued that all that is worthy comes about through desire passion and eagerness to possess, whether it is to possess beauty or love, or indulge in sensual pleasures, etc. The beast also argues that pursuit of knowledge also is by urge of the passions. Without desire, we desire nothing. Thus without the beast in us, our animal nature, life is empty and nothing. Fear is good too, we fear and run from pain and death. I have to go back and look at it. It is a jumble. It has some pen sketches of the beast too.Interesting musings for a Beast. Perhaps alchemy is working its magic. I hope that Terrance returns to that story and reworks it. But let us turn to his Paradise Lost images. This one's titled "Satan Summoning His Legions" . . . but note the fullcaps caption:
"A thing of Beauty is a joy forever." Is it? Or is it precious and beautiful because it is fleeting. Even if it is fleeting, is it still a joy forever? In what way? Is that just a poetic throw off or a philosophical truth? If one cannot believe it, is it good poetry?
Does not one become indifferent to beauty as one becomes indifferent to any stimulus? The animal in us becomes sated once glutted.
SATAN SUMMONING HER TROOPS FROM OFF THE FIERY POOLThat's a bit unexpected, a differently gendered Satan! But why, after all, should we be sexist and always use the masculine for Satan? Anyway, on a sheet associated with this image are Terrance's musings on the theme of Paradise Lost -- and look, an alchemical trope!
No caption to that one, but you can click on the image and read what Terrance wrote. Let's move on to the next image, titled "Eve Sees Her Reflection" and reflect on its significance:
Again, no caption, but we can read of Eve's captured, captivating image below -- in the image of the writing itself as well as in Lindall's further musings, including remarks prefatory to the final image of Eve and the Serpent:
Eve is reflecting on her image in the pool. She is mesmerized by the beauty and yet is loathe to look, subconsciously aware that this is the fascination akin to that of a mesmerizing snake! Yes, there is fasciation and perhaps a bit of horror by the strong attraction she feels. Can this be lust? Horror and beauty are somehow related. Consider the swirling eddies of colliding star clusters in the galaxy -- creation and desctruction -- the beauty and the horror, Krishna and Kali, aspects of the same God! Notice in my final painting of Eve and the Serpent that they have the same blue irises for eyes! They are aspects of each other. Both are tempters. She is tempted by the Serpent and Adam is tempted by her. How many parallels are there?
Good questions about parallels between Eve and the Serpent, and these demonstrate something that I posted some years back, namely, that Terrance is an artist of ideas. Not all artist are, though all perhaps have conceptions of what they want to create, but Terrance has consciously thought-out ideas that fit together in a system of thought. He is an intellectual as well as an artist. And we see this all because he was cleaning house:
Looking behind a large piece of Victorian furniture I knew there was a shallow box standing upright that I thought contained our complete Fugaku hyakkei 'One hundred views of Mt. Fuji' by Hokusai."Bifolia," Terrance says.
No indeed, it contained my lost bifolia drawings of Paradise Lost. These were missing for about 20 years. The bifolia are \t 15 x 15 which, when you open the page, contains notes on the ideas illustrated on the first page.
"Biophilia," I say . . .