Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jonas and the Tree

Sorry for the several month absence (makes the heart grow fonder... right?). While I've been away...
  • New Home: I'm very excited about my new working space. Photos to come.
  • New Puppets: Some ideas have been a little too ambitious, but you can't learn without a little failure.
  • Demonstrations: I've been out and about showing young minds how to do what I do.
  • Website Redeux: You can view a few changes I've already made, but more are on the way with a formal "Hey look at my Website!" announcement.
So as you can see, I haven't exactly been watching the grass grow while neglecting my blog. Fortunately, I'm back today to write about a triptych i did back in October called Jonas and the Tree.

My intention was to further explore my love of Science Fiction and robots and combine it into a brief storyline contained in just a few panels. This narrative is based on a short story I wrote about six years ago and just left in a notebook to sit, but I couldn't shake it from my head. I had to get it out there and share it. I didn't want to tell the whole story, but instead i wanted to engage to viewer more generally so that they might fill in the blanks with their own creativity.

The details of the story were too lengthy to flush out in a few panels so i focused on the ending where our boy hero ,Jonas, has emerged from his adventures as a half machine in the first panel titled The Young.

There was a fair amount of symbolism I attached to the paintings by including animals. The Young depicts Jonas cradling a monkey. Although monkey's bring lot of symbolic luggage with them (tricksters and playfulness) I went with evolutionary symbolism. As the tale goes, monkeys grew taller, lost their hair, grew a larger brain, and became human. But it won't stop there because, according to the image, mechanical bodies seem to be in store for some evolved primates. As the monkey seems to clutch Jonas' mechanical finger these evolutionary soldiers are acknowledging each other without fear or dominion.

Inevitable time has passed for Jonas in The Old. With his face wrinkled and diminishing power indicator on his chest, he holds a serpent known to shed it's skin as Jonas has shed his body. Remaining in the same spot for years at a time draws from many religious tales of meditation as a means to contemplate the universe. In this case, the tree's growth has started to consume Jonas' robot legs.

And here the tale comes to an end. The mechanical body has ceased it's function and Jonas has passed, but encased in a perennial sarcophagus. Birds have made a home for themselves in his remains and in this way, Jonas will be remembered as a safe place rather than the boy who got in over his head.

Thanks for reading.

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