Atlas Obscura (The Dictaean Cave)
2019

An extension of Atlas Obscura (The Idaean Cave) (2019), this series perpetuates the narrative of praeternatural realms which act as visual allegories pertaining to a person’s theory of reality and the determination of what they believe to be conceivable. The ancients believed in a universe of spirits and deities, of personified nature and the cosmos, and of exotic creatures. Their stories, populated with such realities, seemed credible to them and influenced their perceptions or observations of the everyday world around them. Where there is mystery and the unknown, humans have created countless stories and scenarios to make sense of what lies beyond the known; humans have projected meanings onto the unknown. Myth, through awe and wonder, allows our mind to embrace the realms of the possible, the undiscovered and the transcendent.

Utilising image-editing software, layers of digitally generated impressions are superimposed to create one definitive image, which is subsequently printed on aluminium, mirror Dibond or canvas. This leads to the digital creation of new ornamentations and embellishments that accede to a final composition (akin to photomontage). The process is then completed by hand-drawn motifs in wax pastels and / or aquarelle to further illustrate an atmospheric realm with elements of other-worldly characterisations. A surface layer of structured Plexiglas (a prominent compositional component employed throughout previous series) is then positioned on top of several works to create a visual distortion, allowing the viewer to interpret the visualisations contained within the work whilst questioning concepts of dimensional potentiality as well as recognition.

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As a side note: the ‘Dictaean cave’ is one of a number of caves believed to have been the birthplace or sanctuary of Zeus. Renowned in Greek mythology as the place where Amalthea (the she-goat nurse) nurtured the infant Zeus with her milk. The nurse of Zeus was charged by Rhea to raise the infant in secret here, to protect him from his father Cronus. When the god reached maturity he created his thunder-shield (the aigis) from her hide and the horn of plenty (cornucopia or keras amaltheias) from her crown. The archaeology attests to the site's long use as a place of cult worship and the mountains, of which the cave - rich in stalagmites and stalactites - are part, are known in Crete as Dikte.