The Beginning of the World, Reimagined by Consecrea Artists
Our ancestors had their theories on the origins of the world, and we’ve known some of these by heart. We know of how God created the universe in seven days; how Adam and Eve lived in an ephemeral paradise. We know of the sacred lotus that grew on Vishnu’s navel and how Brahma achieved enlightenment to create the world as we know it.
No one knows how the world came about, and it’s probably going to be a mystery forever. But maybe there’s a silver lining in not knowing. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss: the less we know, the more we can ponder.
And what better way to explore all these musings than art? It’s the most expressive way to tell a story. If the story tries to imagine the beginnings of the universe, then wouldn’t that be a sight to behold?
Genesis and Eden, The Origins of Life
“Genesis” means origin, source, and beginning in Greek and Latin. The word is all too familiar for those acquainted with the Bible, where it is the name of the very first book.
Among the many stories narrated in this book was the creation of the world, the first man and woman, and their first instance of falling from grace. One of the major backdrops here was Eden, the all-encompassing garden granted to Adam and Eve. It was the beginning of all things good — and all things sinful.
These categories aren’t quite the same, but they tackle the same questions regarding beginnings and the springing of life. Spirituality revolves around the idea of understanding the beginning — where we came from, and why we’re even here at all.
In both these categories, we explore the divine nature of the universe, the world, and all of life. Where did we come from? How did nothing become everything?
Our artists have their insightful ideas on these questions. Here are some of them.
‘Vivogenesis’ by Seamless
What if the world blossomed into existence?
It’s not a scientific assumption, but it is a beautiful picture. ‘Vivogenesis’ by Seamless is a piece that envisions earth as one of its most beautiful products: a flower. Here, it blooms from a stem held by a divine hand.
Seamless, the artist behind the piece, also considers it as a tribute to human stewardship. He uses this strange, invisible hand to uplift the world — the same way he believes humans should. It’s not an easy task, of course, but he wants to help in the ways he can.
And for him, an artist, the most obvious avenue for sharing this message is through a painting. “There are many stumbles, but we always have to keep in mind [what] we are capable of,” he said. “At least, if we cannot manage our environment, we can manage things from a perspective indoors.”
He also brings up the topic of creation and solidarity, believing it as something to be achieved — not just given as a divine blessing. “We as human beings are capable of creating what we propose. This illustration represents a lot [of that], that we are capable of transforming our world, our life, as if it were a plant in a certain way,” he said.
‘Nippon Eden’ by Christian Benavides
The creation of earth can be considered microscopic in the grand scheme of things, but it’s certainly far from insignificant. Earth, after all, is the pinnacle of life as we know it.
That’s why we wanted to explore the garden of Eden — one of the most popular religious myths that tackle the omnipotent power of nature, as well as the beginnings of human life. But unlike in the common tradition of depicting Eden, this illuminative work by Christian Benavides re-imagines it from the perspective of Shintoism (and some Buddhism).
As such, it takes on a brighter and more hopeful tone, rather than focusing on man’s separation from the divine. Benavides, who is inspired by East Asian cultures, finds that there’s always something to pull from these ancient traditions.
“I like [that] the Shinto tradition has different rituals connected to nature, as rituals made with purpose can help us transform our subconscious,” he said. “I believe that way we can make everything in our life a ritual, but the Shinto torii gates, statues, shrines [all] have this mystical, magical aura, which is just so inspiring to me.”
Here, instead of Adam and Eve, he painted the first man and woman in Japanese mythology: Izanagi (“He Who Invites”) and Izanami (“She Who Invites”). Their stories could not be more different from the Christian one, but they both share one essential cultural value: an affinity and reverence for all things in nature.
This value is even more emphasized in Shintoism, and even Benavides himself thinks so. “The Shinto tradition places a strong bond between nature and humans — a combination of dimensions where each element of nature contains an individual spirit that comes from the source,” he explained.
Religion has the same goal after all — to connect with the divine. And it’s something Benavides achieved in this creative venture: “Interacting with nature is [akin to] interacting with the spirits, and in the end, [interacting] with the great spirit.”
Read our in-depth story about ‘Nippon Eden’ here.
‘Life’ by Dorian Legret
Psychedelic contemporary artist Dorian Legret likes to explore elements of the cosmos in his work. From creation stories to musings about evolution, the universe is involved in some visceral way. (Even the abstract piece ‘Orestis’, which also belongs to our Genesis category, was inspired by images of NASA.)
‘Life’ is as subtle as it’s profound. Featuring elements of Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’, mainly manifested as disarranged bits and squares, Legret intended to express his thoughts on how everything began — and how everything is going.
Religion is not so much the subject here as it is just a component of the subject. For Legret, religions “have been created by humans to find a purpose in life; something that can be valuable enough to build a society [on].” That’s why he saw it fitting to use Michelangelo’s iconic Christian fresco as the main visual in the middle of the negative space.
But what's really being explored here is the idea of purpose and evolution. How far have we gone from this negative space, this “nothingness”? For Dorian, the answer is simple: the encoding of the human mind through modern technology.
“My inspiration for ‘Life’ is the evolution of the nature of our universe, starting from nothing to computing. To me, computing is the next step,” he said. “It’s become our new purpose, a way for the human mind to survive over time by saving our knowledge.”
Have our most pressing questions been answered by these pieces? Maybe not. But they do give us beautiful visuals to cope with the fact that we’ll probably never know.
And that maybe, in this case, it’s up to us to create the answers.
Check out our range of religious and spiritual framed wall art here.