“What is essential in a work of art is that it should rise far above the realm of personal life and speak from the spirit and heart of the poet as man to the spirit and heart of mankind”, wrote Carl Jung in Modern Man in Search of a Soul.

Historical moments of severe crisis often spark the fires of intense artistic creativity. Images, music and poetry can express complex and profound realities not easily communicated by dry analysis.

As Jung said, true art speaks from the heart to the heart. It is a shared awakening and enlightenment.

It gives shape to our dreaming, our fearing, our knowing. It warns us of dangers that we have been unable or unwilling to fully recognise.

It is the gushing forth of the waters of our collective unconscious, the world soul made manifest.

Here, we are very pleased to share an extraordinary new painting by Jordan Henderson, an artist from Washington State, USA, who works in oil on canvas and charcoal on paper.

He describes Sheep, Shepherds, and a Goat as an “exploration of acquiescence versus resistance to oppression”.

The digital format obviously cannot do justice to the reality of this large painting, which measures more than five and a half feet across.

But Jordan has also provided several “close-ups” to reveal some of the all-important detail.

Here is Jordan’s own description of the work:

Sheep, Shepherds, and a Goat

Oil on Canvas 42×68

An allegory of the year 2020 and The New Normal that it has brought, a year in which symbolism, ritual, and superstition reign as instruments of oppression. I built this composition around the widely understood concepts conveyed by ancient, and still useful, metaphors of sheep, shepherds, goats, and wolves. This allegory is multilayered; my usage of the primary metaphors is overt, but built into the primary metaphors are additional, much subtler, layers of metaphor.

I will eventually provide a more detailed explanation, and I am more then willing to clarify points of confusion, but for now, I think viewers will have more fun discovering the metaphorical layers on their own. Additionally, it is worth noting, that the viewer may perceive deeper truths in the elements portrayed in a painting then what the artist intended, and I don’t want to get in the way of that process.

More explanation will be forthcoming, and for now, enjoy the painting.

A portfolio of Jordan’s work can be viewed at https://www.jordanhendersonfineart.com/

Prints available here.

Original here.