© 2017 by DESMOND LAZARO

Classroom 2

In this new body of works, I want to explore the heavens, to try and fathom my palace within it and science seems to offer an interesting path. A path well-tread by artists up until fairly recent times but one that has sadly split into opposing camps, where the imaginal and scientific have become uneasy bedfellows, neither quite trusting the other; although we are both engaged in the folly of mapping the infinite through finite means. And as I write this fires grip Australia, we are forced to see the reality of climate change, our world is burning in every sense (the ensuing politics of the day), perhaps we should reconsider our relationships, otherwise, our fragile place within the heavens, known as the ‘goldilocks zone’, the only place in our galaxy where life could have evolved may well come to an abrupt end.

Principia I

 

The image is transcribed from a map made by the Greek merchant Cosmas Idicopleustes (literally ‘Cosmas who sailed to India’) who died in AD 550. ‘Cosmas drew many maps based on his travels and Christian beliefs, including this theoretical idea of the Universe taking the form of a giant box with a curved lid based on the tabernacle, the earthly dwelling of God’[1]. In my work, the mountain is Mount Meru - the Universal Axis Mundi that connects heaven and earth, a tendency of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. The gold pattern that adorns the mount follows geometries that are often found on walls behind the Buddha image. I had documented many of these some years ago in Yangon at the Shwedagon Paya, Burma. In this transcription, the deity has gone and the mythological mountain is encased, stranded with an empty box.

Principia II

A single strand of lace, a disjointed biomorphic - Milky Way hovers above the modern southern sky.

Principia III

A generic school desk interrupts Newton’s notes, the neurosis of education and how we struggle to understand science.

Desmond Lazaro, January 2020.

 

Notes:

[1]This devotional textile were made for the ‘Pushti Marg’ Sect of Vaishnavi worship of Shri Nathji during the late 19th and early 20th Century. The imagery was wholly devotional although they were machine-made (in England, Belgium & Germany) specifically for the Indian market. 

[2] ‘The Sky Atlas’ by Edward Brooke-Hitchings, pg 63. The map itself comes from the library of Congress, Geography and Map Division’