Friday, October 9, 2009

The Initial Color

It was the Book of Kells that got me studying again the illuminated
manuscripts that we all have seen in pictures. The extravagances, the
bright jewel toned color; the scenes of daily life, daily contemporary
life, to the artists, the monks who labored on the books, are
meticulously crowded into a scroll on a single letter. You could say
art was here in the service of religion as most folks then, even
royalty, couldn't read and learned most from the pictures in these

You could say that, and ignore what you know about the timeless space
the working artist occupies. Same thing applies to this thought:
Perhaps these infinite glimpses crowded into a curlique, are art in
the service of science. For have we not here, a celebration of
objectivity, an objectivity that looks at the human mind, and lays out
the true wonder of such a development, as thinking, in the species.
The letters of thought are there on the page, but in the illuminated
manuscript the words are put into a wider, humbling landscape that
measures the letter with a scientific exactitude. Perhaps, sometimes,
what you cannot say, you can occasionally draw.

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