Kites of the Netherworld

“When we look at the outside world, we are looking only at a small part that
interests us. The world we see is not the entire universe but a limited one the
mind cares about. However, to our minds, that small world is the entire
universe. Our reality is not the infinitely stretching cosmos but the small part we
choose to focus on. Reality exists because our minds exists. Without the mind
there would be no universe.”

I wade in water. The beach is small and private, almost overgrown. The trees
that protect it drop leaves in the occasional wind, which fall and float on the
surface of the shoreline.

Wind sweeps clouds to the horizon, casting the heavens for the day and drawing
a sharper leaf shadow on the sandy lake bottom. The shadow is not in the shape
of a leaf. It is an abstract outline that follows the line of surface tension touching
the leaf, dancing in the rhythm of the waves.

The shadow follows, coupled to the surface body, like a netherworld kite.

A dark silhouette flying on the sandy lake bottom, like a gateway to something
profound and endless. Water is unknown, it has secrets. The nature of the water
is not as translucent as air, where you can count the birds far into the skyline.
Water is more mysterious, both merciless and generous, and closer to our daily
lives. Fish in the water cannot be counted like birds. With its surface mirroring
the sky and its twisted view, it is easy to see why in northern religions water is
imagined to be the route to the alternate world that is a reflection of ours. The
concept of the underworld is found in almost every civilization, and "can be as
old as mankind itself" (1). The lack of interest in the upper world is usually typical of popular belief:
information about the underworld is detailed for different peoples, while
perceptions of the above are obscure. (2)

Netherworld Kites is inspired by the distorted shadows of the leaves. Those
inscrutable shadows remind me of a gravity-defying, down-floating kite of the
reverse world, like a channel leading into a submerged lake. That shadow
flickers in waves only if the surface tension holds the leaf to the surface. As the
leaf wets and sticks evenly to the surface, the leaf shade normalizes, making the
hole disappear.


Technical part

Netherworld Kites and lakes with bilateral lake bottoms had me seeking
technical solutions to mimic their duplicity. I ended up using both sides of my
technique: imbricating scale-like and the coral-like surfaces that are constructed
on top of balloons. The inner and the outer body were possible to get into the
same piece by overturning the ball, and this act of making felt like jumping
between worlds. I ́m spellbound by the idea of travelling through a hole in the
lake bottom, and I seek means to show all the different passages of those
imagined travels: diving to the imagined shadow-gate, going through and getting
to the other side, but also traveling back from it.

A link to a video of the leaf 




First Quote: Haemin Sunim, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
(How to Be Calm in a Busy World) 2017, p. 16
1.Isabelle Loring Wallace, Jennie Hirsh, Contemporary Art and Classical Myth
2011: p. 295.
2.Yana Borodulina, Master ́s Thesis: Suomalaisten uskomustarinoiden
yliluonnolliset olennot ja niiden nimityksien alkuperä (translation: Supernatural
beings of Finnish belief stories and the origin of their names) 2016, p. 33 (also in
Éliade 2003: p. 142–146.)

Special thanks to Anders Lindblom, Shane Prada, Paula Kesäläinen and Iiro Rautiainen

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