The Second Coming, mixed media on wood panels 100 x 140 cm
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
William Butler Yeats
index: the cupric rockscape of Bellini, the Sound of Sleat, Holbein’s cranial anamorphosis, the melancolic geometry of Durer, Giordano Bruno’s On the Composition of Images, Signs and Ideas, Barney’s Canopic Chest, the lapis blue alchemical pelican (silica, lime, copper, and alkali), “the smoke of their torment”, Revelation 14:11, the dead trees of Calvary, the emblem of emblems, Piero’s trapped landscape; the glass domes (through their transparency and shine, have the virtue of simultaneously animating and distancing the objects within), Kandor, Carpaccio’s Preparation of Christ’s Tomb, with the anvil-like red stone of unction, The Beast of the Earth Makes Fire Come Down from the Heavens, the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers, and Durer’s Flügel einer Blauracke, from which all of the colours in the work are derived.
The Second Coming: Details