“Mystery is the essential element to every work of art” by Luis Bunuel
One of the more important insights from our trip to Scotland and Ireland that I came away with is how special the elements of myth, mystery and folklore are in the culture of Scotland and Ireland. The ancient Celtic culture is filled with myth and mystery and the great stories that were orally passed down from generation to generation. The folklore of Scotland and Ireland is very rich and has a long history. The photo at the top of this blog is of a water spirit called a Kelpie. The Kelpie is a powerful and beautiful black horse inhabiting the deep pools of rivers and streams of Scotland, preying on any humans it encounters. Stories of malevolent water spirits served the practical purpose of keeping children away from perilous areas of water. These 30 metre-high horse-head sculptures were in Falkirk, Scotland on the Forth and Clyde canal (a 35 mile canal crossing Scotland).
It is my believe that in America we suffer from the lack of mystery and myth. We don’t have this long history like they do in these Celtic countries (although the Native American tribes certainly had the long heritage of myth, folklore and mystery). In the United States, we mostly have a “scientific method” mindset. We have the belief that there is an answer to every question or problem (even if we don’t know right now what it is we believe science will discover it someday). There is no such thing as a mystery. I think we are missing something even though I am not sure I can put my finger on it.
Maybe it has something to do with the quote that I included at the top of this blog. It is making the linkage between a work of art and mystery. That work of art is really something that comes out of someone and in many cases the artist doesn’t even know how it works. It just comes out. There is no scientific answer to how this works. I love that. It inspires me in some way. I guess I really do embrace mystery and maybe that is why I love the creative and artsy photography that I have been drawn to lately. Not sure.
Photograph of the Week
I loved the wonderful skies of Ireland and Scotland. They were endlessly changing and were so dynamic and breathtaking. This “work of art” was created from a very dynamic sky above the treeline in the distance. The pattern of the trees seemed to be repeated by the sky. I love how the sky made me feel.I hope you also can feel the mystery of it.