We think of ghosts and angels, aliens and ancient origins, and for all we know it's real. Maybe everything behind the cloak of dark matter is actually the spiritual and ethereal universe so many have claimed to witness? Perhaps the best way to reach beyond the veil and to communicate the sights and sounds of beyond is through the arts. Unless we can touch it, it's never fully accepted by all. Making it tangible by depicting the furthest reaches of our experience can help others to find their own unique lights in the dark.
The Speed Art Museum is displaying a wide ranging selection of supernatural and paranormal art throughout January. With so many individuals claiming to experienced the otherworldly and extraordinary, having a place to express and communicate the facts is essential. So many experiencers of the paranormal find art and expression a fruitful field to begin.
Ghosts and spiritual beings have been described since prehistory with some of our first known stories drawing on these concepts from the beginning. Understanding the faith people have in hidden happenings that explain the universe in personal terms is what the many stories attempt to do. By hatching the egg of mythical sequences so many have discovered a new kind of life ready to break free.
Included is a piece named The Thanaton III (pictured at the top). This vivid and richly decorated artwork by Paul Laffoley is said to be a portal to another dimension. Because of this, visitors are politely asked to not touch it. The various images along its lower half seem to give directions as to what dimension is being summoned where as the central design looks like it wants to use mesmerism and suggestion to tap into the mental process required to travel.
With videos and artworks adorning the walls of two floors in the museum, visitors can indulge and absorb themselves in the spectacular mixture of media and design. One of the most important sections is on the downstairs floor. A recreated 19th Century parlour has been painstakingly built from genuine period materials by Whitfield Lovell. This time of ghosts and superstition that still enchant and inspires the American mind, is hauntingly accurate and full of anemoia.
Images and names via WFPL.org. Visit the site for more on this exhbition.
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