Digital artist Hariclia Michailidou presents a collection of abstracts inspired by deep space and faraway galaxies. View more from this artist on her website.
With nothing in my mind—or perhaps with everything in my mind—in 1998, I began to paint freehand watercolor circles. It felt so satisfying and, almost addicted, I continued to paint watercolor circles for over a year.
Later, with the aid of the computer I scanned the original watercolors and created a series of collages, mostly of radial patterns I called evolutions. I used the series on evolutions as building blocks and created groups like interludes. Those I launched into the space of my computer screen and created what seemed to be the night sky, a universe.
I should say it happened almost accidentally. After modifying them, reducing and increasing, there were patterns bursting with light. I understood them as the stars and galaxies in very deep space. Since then, all that happens on my computer screen is of the universe and is in the universe. It is of the poetics of space, of cosmic nights, cosmic scapes, manifestations, abstractions, strange appearances in the universe.
My work shows cosmic metamorphosis, strange phenomena in the universe, streaming universes, the plasticity of the universe, warping in the universe, cosmic creatures, cosmic goddesses, and more. I haven’t left the universe since then, and I believe I will not.
While most artists focus on this life, on this planet, I turn my eyes away from this planet. I look away from its weariness and vast sadness and turned my eyes towards the sky. I go far, far above the skies, soaring deeper and deeper through space, contemplating, modifying it, playing with the universe, the universe within, yet so very often resembling the universe we see through the telescope.
For there is an eye within that sees clear and far, far beyond the sparkling mirrors of the telescopes.
Some artists choose to elevate humans higher and higher. I choose to elevate them above the neighboring stars and far beyond the neighboring galaxies. Going far away and still farther, the farthest the universe and the cosmic gods inhabiting them will allow us to rise and still rise.
As an interesting coincidence, I translated Charles Baudelaire’s poem “Elevation” this morning. It tells of the same experience, of the soaring of the soul, and the sounds of silence. The last verse goes like this:
Behind the weariness and the vast sadness
That charges with their weight the foggy existence
Happy who can with a vigorous wing soar
Towards the sky in the morning take a free flight
Who glides above life and understands without effort
The language of the flowers and of silent things.
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