Assignment 2 – Inspiration

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    There are two very different people that stand out in my mind as ones who have shaped my views on art and photography in a massive way. The first is Salvador Dali and the second is Peter Lik.

    When I was younger I was given Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” painting as inspiration for choreographing and writing my own piece for a performing arts exam. Every aspect of the painting was looked at and our group chose a quite abstract take on the painting. What I love about Dali’s paintings is that you are not restricted by the artists own personal viewpoint of what he wanted to portray; any of his works can be taken in any number of ways. The overlying theme in “Persistence of Memory” is that time is not rigid or deterministic and according to critics it epitamises Dali’s theory of hardness and softness. For me, the ‘melting clocks’ piece makes me think of the passing of time as something that none of us can prevent; the clocks are time ticking, the melting an unstoppable process and the ants on one of the clocks an indicator of things beyond our control always influencing and changes things about us and around us. I love this piece. Salvador Dali has many other magnificent works, they are all so abstract and random; this is what I love about his paintings. Another piece I enjoy looking at is his piece “Swans reflecting elephants”; it is so incredible how he can produce such incredible reflections in his work. Dali’s work has numerous themes but there are always a lot of underlying symbolisms in his work; for example the ants in his ‘melting clocks’ piece symbolise death to Dali and the elephants in his other piece are a recurrent image that adds the illusion of weightlessness in such a heavy structure (due to how they are drawn with spindly legs). One quote that caught my eye in my research of Dali’s work was the one below because it made me see more than ever how you can take from his paintings whatever you want to and for me that is a freedom that doesn’t often happen in others’ work.

    “I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly.” —Salvador Dalí, in Dawn Ades, Dalí and Surrealism.

    I’ve taken Dali up in most of this assignment; a short word on Peter Lik. When I first came to Australia I saw some of his works in a small shop north of Cairns and immediately I was mesmerised by the colours and the incredible emotion that comes out of his photographs. His photography is, in a word, beautiful; it takes the rawest of emotions in the viewer and turns them in to a photo of something magnificent. Below is just one of his many works that have inspired me to want to capture emotion from your environment in photography. The Peter Lik photo is from his 35mm collection and is called ‘Ghost’.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Brilliant post. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m happy you decided to discuss a painter rather than a photographer and discuss the topic of symbolism and story-telling rather than just photographic beauty. it’s not that one is better than the other, I just like seeing the range of interest.

    It will be interesting to see how this influence effects your work as a photographer.

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