Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Green Man Project

Early November, warm day, clear skies.

Gathered up a lot of maple leaves from the beautiful golden tree out back, shedding its leaves in a yellow circle on the green lawn. Spirit of autumn. Put the leaves in a basket to bring indoors. Then, with the assistance of my artist friend Alex, made several self-portraits, some shamanic, others purely erotic, of myself as the Green Man emerging from the bed of leaves.

This feels like a photo shoot that becomes the raw material for a new series of digital artworks. Move the images into Photoshop, work with them to create mythopoetic, shamanic art, full of layers and complexities, all of it about life, death, the cycle, the turn of the Wheel of the Year.

Death and rebirth, the Horned One, the Green Man, the Great God Pan, dying in autumn to be reborn in spring. My own quasi-death and rebirth this past year, coming back to life now after brushing close to the other worlds.

Other photos we made are more explicitly erotic than these. I need to work those ideas some more before I present them. Images of my erect phallus emerging from a bed of leaves, like new growth emerging from the forest floor.

Symbol of the phallic archetype of fertility. More purely connected to the archetype of the fertility deity, the Green Man, the Greening itself the source and circle of life. Life and love and sex and death all intertwined. The celebration of return of life.

Leaves covering the skin and revealing the surgical scar. Return to life, victory over death, rebirth. This is all tied together for me now: even my sexual expression lately has been about affirming life over death, each sexual experience, each orgasm, a celebration of survival, of life, of overcoming the impossible.

At the end of this photo shoot, a last-minute discovery that putting the leaves up to the light of the setting sun, and photographing them with the macro lens, backlit, yields some fascinating abstract colors and forms. I made enough of these latter images to start work on assembling a stock photo set of abstract patterns from natural forms. I'll probably go leaf-hunting and do some more of these later.

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