The Whale's Mouth: The Cavern Paintings
A Cavern Series?
As a painter who mostly paints abstractly I've always been fascinated how viewers need to "see something" to feel okay about what they are looking at.
I think this also happens when one is faced with things new and strange. I relate this to the roadside cave and cavern attractions across the country with the odd shaped helictites and spelethomes with given anthropomorphic names like the Whale's Mouth, Lion's Tale and Cave Bacon.
Name it and there is nothing to be afraid of...
The very strangeness of caves both provokes and demands that we discover in them "likeness". The likeness that we discover is the real and potent.
Beliefs that caves were inhabited by negative thoughts, or spirits, were held by the native-American culture, in which these spirits influenced the outcome of all human strivings, and had to be maintained inside caves.
The souls of the dead were thought to be the most malevolent of all spirits, and were held within the deepest parts of the cave.
It's interesting that veteran cavers insist that anyone who's not comfortable in a cave is afraid of their own mind.