If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you probably saw a series of still process shots, and a coupla videos, as this piece was progressing. It was a challenging piece, in both content and technique. It’s occupants, with all their psychological weight, haunted me for months as I struggled to find the composition in which to appropriately present their story. I was trapped by it, almost as much as the protagonist represented in its center panel. Now that Aboulomania is complete, I feel free of it, and can share its key.
Aboulomania: meaning without will, is a mental disorder in which the patient displays pathological indecisiveness. It is typically associated with anxiety, stress, depression, and mental anguish, and can severely affect one's ability to function socially.
Blue Robe: a garment worn, in certain religious ceremonies, as a reminder of dedication to a higher calling.
Books: written or printed works consisting of pages glued, or sewn, together along one side and bound in covers. Once valued as a source of knowledge and a stimulus of insight. These books have no titles, for what they offer is beyond the understanding of this Scholar.
Hemlock: a poisonous weed that effects the nervous system. Symptoms include paralysis, convulsions, coma, and death. Both the root and flower are pictured here, suggesting that toxic thoughts which lie beneath the conscious mind can be masked by a beautiful display above the surface.
Jeweled Mantle: suggesting that the Scholar is accomplished in his position. Medieval Europeans thought that rubies guaranteed health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. They also considered opals to be symbols of hope, purity , and truth. Emeralds were believed to provide protection against evil spells and to cure disease, while some seers used emeralds to foresee the future.
Scholar: (center figure) a person who is highly educated or has an aptitude for study. The middle finger of his left hand, that of intuition, expresses his final frustration.
Turkey Skull: when a flock is too large, a turkey loses the capacity to distinguish whether another bird is of their flock. Taking too long to make that determination leaves the turkey sentinel, and the flock, open to attack by another flock. Such indecisiveness can lead to its death.
Polarizing Data: (flanking figures) the inverted figures represent opinions offered from sources that are not of this physical world. They could be considered intuitive input, that is, thoughts from the shared unconscious. They are neutral beings whose single eye represents a single viewpoint with a single anticipated outcome which is predetermined by the expectations of the Scholar. For example, life is heaven or hell depending on one’s perspective. Their opinions are expressed through their fifth chakra which is, here, disassociated from their skulls which contains the crown chakra. Such disconnect indicates that their opinions are not guided by a higher purpose.