I write a lot about religion. I don’t have a belief, but perhaps this makes it easier for me to be completely unbiased, as it is not something that I have invested devotion to. I like to understand it, as I believe that this stands me in good stead to firstly empathise with my own cultures beliefs, and secondly makes me more open to interpreting other cultures. This makes it so much harder for me to comprehend then, why others don’t understand their own beliefs, let alone contemplating trying to interpret others. I say this as there is an article that I wrote a while ago now, which explains around Lucifer being the morning star and his fall from grace. Last week I received a comment that simply read “Jesus is the morning star – NOT SATAN”. This made me chuckle at first as it shows a complete lack of understanding of their own religion or the background to it, but made me really think, that why would you decided to display your ignorance to someone who has so obviously researched. I mean, I am sure that for them this was coming from a good place and perhaps they wanted to save my soul from what they believed was a complete travesty of a statement, but more likely they were very annoyed at me that I dared to say that Lucifer was anything other than bad.
I am very sure you are wondering what this has to do with Michael Page, and his ethereal paintings. Hopefully that will all become clear as I amble my way through this article.
Page was born in 1979, he now lives and works in San Francisco. He has been displayed internationally and has built up a name for himself for his surreal and transcendental art. He is mostly self taught and works in many different mediums.
Page has a few ways in which he approached creating his pieces. The first is to throw paints and shapes on the canvas until he finds something that sticks, the other is to sketch out initial ideas until they become a flow. Page has stated that he is not particularly partial to any of his works and that true beauty can come about through the destruction and resurrection of a piece through many iterations.
With Page’s process quite well discussed it is easy to see his thought processes on the canvas. You can see fluid movement in move of his works, reflecting the ever changing nature of his creations.
I have chosen “Enkisgold”, as it is one that first caught my eye. I love how the tigers are part of the flow of everything else around them, even though they dominate the center point. There is a direction of travel, at which point only the present (the very central forward tiger) is fully visible, and the past is a mess of fluidity, and the future becomes a watery dream like entity.
What really got me pondering this painting was the people with spirialing circular heads, painted in a golden hue, and the gold flowers which are dotted about. Also the name of the painting really confused me, until I did a bit of research.
The piece of work really focuses in on a few things (in my humble opinion), which are key themes to Page’s work. Tropes to his paintings are global transformation, what has been and what is to come and ecological upheaval.
For this painting to make some sense we need to go all the way back to the Sumerians. A religion prior to the Gods of Greece and formed by the people of Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia. This was the first literate civilisation and they regarded their deity’s as responsible for all matters natural and social. The belief was that the universal had come about through a series of “Cosmic” births. First, Nammu, the primeval waters, gave birth to Ki (the earth) and An (the sky), who mated together and produced a son named Enlil. Enlil separated heaven from earth and claimed the earth as his domain. Humans were believed to have been created by Enki, the son of Nammu and An. Heaven was reserved exclusively for deities and, upon their deaths, all mortals’ spirits, regardless of their behavior while alive, were believed to go to Kur, a cold, dark cavern deep beneath the earth, which was ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal and where the only food available was dry dust. In later times, Ereshkigal was believed to rule alongside her husband Nergal, the god of death.
As the title might suggest, we are interested in Enki. He was part of the larger deity structure called the Anunnaki. Enki was the God of water, crafts, knowledge and creation.
The initial story of creation in Sumerian is quite a contrived tale where humans are made to do the work that the Gods didn’t want to do, and they are created from dirt and blood. This is not the story that I am interested in. Somewhere in the 19th century, thousands of ancient Babylonian clay tablets were discovered by Archaeologists. The collection is huge and is still being analysed today, but 14 of the tablets were translated by an Azerbaijani author Zecharia Sitchin. These tablets directly related to stories of Enki and a mythological planet called Nibiru.
The story, according to Sitchin, is that Nibiru has an elongated orbit of 3600 years. On one of its orbits, while it was close to Earth, the residents called the Anunnaki decided to pop over to Earth to take a look around. This happened around 450,000 years ago.
The reason for the exploration is that the Anunnaki needed gold to repair their planet’s atmosphere. They found that gold was present on Earth, but being superior beings, they obviously couldn’t mine the gold themselves, so they created the human race to do the hard work for them.
While you and I may view this as a mythological story, Sitchin, along with a Swiss author Erich von Danniken and Russian author Immanuel Velikovsky formed the triumvirate of pseudo historians who truly believe that aliens created us so that we could serve a civilisation that required the Earth’s minerals to sustain their own planet.
Obviously, your run of the mill historians are not so swayed by this alien account, but this isn’t the first time that people have believed that aliens put us here, with hints from the Aztecs and Egyptians that we may have been taught mathematics and sciences from other beings.
If you now cast your mind back to “Enkisgold” the three tigers represent the power and knowledge of the God Enki, their flow indicating that he is the god of water. The small gold people are delivering gold to fix the other plane that the Anunnaki come from and the black waves, the deterioration of their atmosphere. The gold flowers indicating the healing.
This is an incredibly in depth and beautiful piece (if you interpret it from a theological theory perspective), which brings me around to understanding religions and different cultures. Without this, I could have simply seen tigers walking through a flow of colours.
To round this up, I implore anyone reading to not be the person who takes what they think they know as a given. Don’t be the person who thinks “Jesus is the morning star”. Most of us now, have a wealth of information at our fingertips, use it, as it will open up a very beautiful and exciting world.
What do you see when you look at “Enkisgold”? Why not tell me in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?