Yassas! Time for another Make-u-believe upload…
We recently had the pleasure of visiting a much loved fellow passionate painter and all round Aussi-greek goddess Nicole Aspradakis in her home town of Crete and we couldn’t help but be inspired by a fanstastic tour of the infamous old city of greek legends, Knossos!
The Minoan civilisation created a Eutopian society on the island of Crete, and were known as the masters of the sea, during the III and II millennia BC. Their amazing technology, such as water and sewage systems, nautical abilities, with extremely high import trade and architecture led to an amazing culture, thriving with art, music and sporting games. The Minoans also have a mystery that is yet to be solved, with an alphabet that we are still to this day trying to translate and so a great deal of their practices and lives are yet to be revealed; which is possibly why the culture has been left to some rather interesting interpretations.
The snake goddess was an important deity thought to represent fertility, with the snakes symbolising death to life, renewal and rebirth or even healing in many cultures throughout history. Snakes are also seen as the continuous circle, much like the spirals seen in artwork throughout the Minoan civilization, perhaps also representing the passage of time, with the Greeks then changing the design to become the more squared Meander design.
The ancient Greeks created a lot of the stories about the Minoans still studied and passed on, the elaborate palace with its bull horn decor that was the heart of Knossos led to the concept of the ‘Labyrinth’ and it’s stories of a mythical beast with the body of a man and head of a bull, the Minotaur.
We were facinated by the stories told of the origins of the Labyrinth and anthropomorphic creature known as the Minotaur; so much so that on return we created a piece dedicated to this remarkable distorted story.
We love the way history is purely made of stories, often created by the victors, but also how symbols and characters are used to tell these amazingly creative tales. We have been pretty obsessed with the theories from societies all over the globe of the origins and evolution of man; one of our favourite books at the moment Graham Hancocks ‘Supernatural’ heavily features where these amazing mythical creatures were created and how so many cultures through history, have recurring symbology.
Other pieces in the Origins series such as ‘Rainbow snake’ bring us back to Nicoles birth country, Austrailia and the Aboriginal dreamtime stories. The ‘Axis-Mundi’ is also further shamaniac symbology found all around the earth, exploring the concept of the center of the world.
I think our obsession with our origins will continue on as there is still so much we don’t know about these early civilizations, and the distorted stories of even the last decade are continuing to appear, no matter what vast technology we have so far developed in the modern times to capture events. We wonder what story shall be made of this world we have now, as the marvellous philosopher Allan Watts remarks, “When St. Augustine of Hipo was asked “What is time?” he replied, “I know what it is, but when
you ask me I don’t.” And funnily enough, he is the man most responsible for the average
commonsensical idea of time that prevails in the West. The Greeks and the East Indians thought
of time as a circular process. And anyone looking at his watch will obviously see that time goes around. But the Hebrews and the Christians think of time as something that goes in a straight line. And that is a very powerful idea which influences everybody living in the West today. And this, you see, is a one directional process. And so we have got the idea that the universe of time is a unique story which had a beginning and it is going to have an end, and which will never never never happen again. And so although most Westerners do not believe in this story anymore, although a great many of them think they ought to believe in it, but they in fact do not.” See more of Alan Watts quotations of Time here.
And I guess that leaves us with, until next time!