To an artist – Giving birth to god…

God is being born!
Fire freezes!
Light darkens!
The Infinite One has the limits!(…)

These expressions of an ancient Polish carol, still being sung in a solemn fortissimo at the evening of the Christmas Eve in many Polish churches, tell us the whole story of how human mind tries to contain/articulate the inexpressible. I have it right before my eyes, very clear – the expressions on the faces – those of farmers, welders, butchers and those of university lecturers; with the similar determination to sing out loud the absolute insult to sanity, the audacious claims stretching out the common sense to a painful extent… God is being born… the Infinite One has the limits… And then – the oxymoron, the impossible performed by the powerful elements negating themselves… The religious story one can believe in or not – yet what it is in its essence – it is a tale about the creation of transcendence, about giving birth to a brainchild – an idea, an artwork, a deity. It’s being born, in pains – as the nature demands its share – in an unexpected places and times, out of a fertility of the human spirit…

Giving birth to god – the blasphemous task of an artist, never-ending Christmas happening in filthy studios, chaotic experiments, pretentious/clumsy/rude concepts and pompous exhibitions… Teasing the transcendence by pulling her plaits and peeping under her always-too-long skirt, wiping her off the picture with a haughty grin, ignoring her completely out of… ignorance, or sense of superiority, or free choice, or despair… What is always needed is the sense of wonder and magic – that special, intense concentration of mind and imagination the kids from the picture above have, when pondering over a mind-blowing mystery in the intimacy of their bedroom… What is always needed is the willingness to take a long journey into the unknown, the kings/mags from the image above made – out of a comfort zone, forgetting any privilege of a status/wealth/education; just being humble in abusing your sensibility, when you let that thing, you can’t even define to possess you and to lead you miles and miles away from your home, just by a twinkling light…

All those inner voyages you have struggled your way through, in order to learn a bit more about yourself; all those gods still-born/never decently conceived; all those Christmas days spent alone in the sweet-sour intimacy of your mighty imagination; all those creations of yours, mocking you by their denial to become/to exist; and finally – all those magic destinations you arrived at as a transformed one, all those gorgeous children of your spirit – still alive and kicking; and, finally, all those future works agitating your consciousness like a good wine… This is what it is all about – and much, much more… Do you sense, how rich you are;  are you aware, how undeservedly lucky you are – you, being an artist/trying to be one?…


I use this post as an opportunity to introduce a fantastic site, I found, and where the images above are from. Liam Quin’s blog: Scanned Images, Engravings, and Pictures from Old Books

Truly fascinating, intelligent effort of a passionate and an expert. Well worth visiting. Thank you Liam!

Images (in the order of appearance):

Frontispiece: Too Old for a Stocking, from: Anonymous, Chatterbox Annual (1916)

The Star of Bethlehem, from: Yonge, Charlotte M., Religion in the Home (1913)


About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

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