Specters & Shadows
by Metra Mitchell
Do you ever go out walking after midnight? When all our guards are let down, strangeness appears. Wherever we look we discover our own inescapable selves. Wherever we step, a portion of our unknown self steps before us, mysteriously fashioned and projected. The ghosts of ourselves emerges out of the depth, essential and self-produced. During ceremonial occasions, we often ask for protection as we travel along our voyage into the magic of a ritual. The forms of the physical world and the manifestations of imagery symbolizing “other-worldliness” shift in-and-out of focus as the luminous candlelight dances across the wall of a small bedroom. Use your ability to selectively see-through certain objects as though they are invisible or translucent in order to see objects or surfaces beyond the surface material. This remote viewing will reveal impressions of the unseen world. Marvel at the beautiful cavity of a rib cage or the crest of a pelvis. Even the woodland forest begins to glow with the magic of pure color! The dramatic moment- an unexpected encounter. Set in the dark atmosphere of an intimate room, we look on as the character shields herself from the unknown things. Examining the Drama of Melancholia is not only relevant in the theater of painting, but also in my struggles with the chaos of the contemporary moment. The melancholic mood I’ve been feeling really presents as a “disenchantment” of modern reality. The psychic reaction to the experience of loss plays out as the allegorical subject of Strength remains in a state of suspended grief and keeps the object of Loss present by her psychic means… and with her strong embrace. The balance of keeping and loosing control-or exerting intentions and being able to depart from them- is at the heart of these painted psychodramas of shadow and specter.