|Shadow and the Firecat - by S. Tihanyi (copyright held by artist)|
In the painting, 'The Fire Cat & The Shadow', there are a number of elements at work. They each have significant meanings for the subconscious. Trying to explain them to anyone, even myself is really quite difficult because a lot of the information is kept in the subconscious and therefore locked from conscious awareness. What I am going to try to do is at least to attempt a coherent explanation. The only way I think I can start is to look at each individual element separately and then look at their relationships.
|detail of Shadow and the Firecat - by S. Tihanyi |
(copyright held by the artist
First I will start at the top of the page. The Shark. A purple shark looms out of the shadows across a deteriorating ceiling of an abandoned derelict old house. A house that is still occupied. I do not like sharks. Sharks frighten me, they have featured in my nightmares many times. They are everything that is perceived as menacing, devouring, dangerous. In my nightmares they have lurked in my dream oceans and also pursued me through several dreams in one night. In one set of nightmares two left the ocean and pursued me up the beach by changing into a half human half shark creatures, (the shark brothers), muscular, masculine steel grey, thick upper torsos and a huge diabolical hammerheads with rows of teeth. They walked slowly and steadily but with an relentless determination. I escaped them in that dream only to see them coming down a city street or over a field on a different night in a different dream and then I would be on the run again. Obviously a fear of masculine sexuality somewhere in there, but sometimes the same symbol can have a different meaning although the emotions of it are the same. The shark in the painting,' Fire Cat & the Shadow' is mainly about all fears and anxieties. The flames (of the Fire Cats wings) have driven it out from the shadows into the light. Fear is now seen, (and felt) it is no longer shut away or lurking in the background denied but has risen to the surface of awareness. So the question I need to ask is this,: who is the Fire Cat serving?. Is it routing and chasing out the Shark, destroying or defeating it or is it the Sharks friend, liberating the Shark (fear) from its prison of shadows?. In this mysterious house, its uncertain where whose allegiances lie.