Finding The Way Artist statements by Joel Fletcher


A man made of fire and woman made of water are united in a yin yang design.
Syzygy, 2017, 18 x 24 inches.

Duality is a prevalent theme in my artwork as it is a fascinating mystery of the world in which we live. This symbolic painting was created in 2017 with the core idea being "the union of opposites.” The imagery portrayed is a composite of metaphysical thought from both Eastern Taoism and Western alchemy. The seemingly opposite, yet complementary, masculine and feminine forces are presented as being interconnected and thereby attracted to each other.

I used symmetry for the underlying design as it was appropriate for a subject of this manner. Basic geometric shapes (circle, cone, s-curve) were utilized. The three primary colors were chosen for the main subjects because they worked out perfectly according to their nature: yellow flame for the masculine; blue water for the feminine; red sphere for the catalyst element, a shape representing the transformative Philosopher’s Stone. These features were brought together in a sort of yin/yang composition. The apparent volcano beneath all of them symbolizes a crucible. The background of swirling shapes reinforces the sense of rotational movement. My initial thought was to entitle the painting "Conjunction" but I decided on the unusually cool and mysterious sounding "Syzygy" instead. Interestingly, syzygy is derived from ancient Greek and Latin and actually means “conjunction” or “yoked together”; therefore, it is an ideal word for this piece.

© 2021 Joel Fletcher

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