Om billedkunstner Linda Horns kunstpraksis, som baserer sig på en dyb kærlighed til naturen og naturen i mennesket og på hendes evne til at se med hjertet og lytte til sjælen.
Af Trine Rytter Andersen
Et blik på Linda Horns billedkunst kan være et blik ind i hemmelighedstilstande, metamorfoser eller et møde med arketypiske, androgyne og mytiske naturvæsener - der udstråler en særlig urkraft og synes at se lige igennem os med et roligt blik, der på samme tid er indadvendt i opmærksom lytten og udadvendt rettet imod bagvedliggende og fjerne horisonter.
En spirituel proces
At skabe billeder er for Linda Horn en spirituel proces, hvorunder ubevidste og underbelyste lag i sindet ’manes frem’. Billederne bærer derfor også præg af noget fremmedartet og gådefuldt. Selv siger Linda Horn, at hun undervejs forsøger at lytte sig ind på det hun kalder ’sjælens hvisken’ - at hun i atelierets afsondrethed forsøger at udføre en form for ’lysarbejde’: en energetisk fremkaldeproces, som har rødder i vores eksistens’ arketypiske fundamenter og relation til sindet, kroppen og naturen.
Linda Horn oplever at billedskabelsen, knytter an til poesien og digtningens evne til at omfatte det ordløse på en subtil og anelsesfuld facon, som samtidig også er meget præcis.
Som f.eks. Inger Christensen gør det i sin vidunderlige sonetkreds Sommerfugledalen, som er en hyldest til livets forbindelse til døden. Hvor døden ser ud fra sommerfuglens vinger og prøver at se sig selv i os som mennesker. Digtet benytter natursansningen til at indfange et øjeblik og spejle evigheden i det. Det smukke ved digtet er oplevelsen af hvorledes ’magien’ - det hemmelighedsfulde – formidler sig gennem sansningen.
Poesien omfavner dybden og helheden i livet og giver det udefinerbare form, og som digteren arbejder Linda Horn med nærværet som en vital kraft og med naturen som en lige så stærk og erotisk kraft. I billedprocessens skærpede nærvær manes former og figurer frem og de fungerer som vejvisere for kunstneren, i det ukendte og mystiske indre landskab, hvor hun undervejs forsøger at møde det der kommer, så åbent og modstandsløst som muligt.
En moderne mystiker
Linda Horn er en moderne mystiker, som hver dag isolerer sig på sit atelier på en forladt gård ude på Egholm, en lille ø i Limfjorden, kun få minutters sejlads fra Aalborg. Her har hun den fred til at arbejde uforstyrret, som hendes kunstneriske ambitioner forudsætter. For hun har opdaget, at det dybe nærvær let lader sig aflede af alt det, der støjer i vores flimrende højhastighedssamfund.
Så afstand til den ydre verden er nødvendig, når hun vil nærme sig den rige indre verden, som kun kan manifesteres gennem afsondrethed, disciplineret venten, fokus, nysgerrighed og hengivelse.
Den mystiske oplevelse
Mystiske og spirituelle oplevelser er grænseoverskridende, fordi de åbner døren ind til andre bevidsthedsformer, som er langt mere informationsrige og altomfattende. Den mystiske oplevelses ’totalitet’ udfordrer naturligvis mystikerens sanse- og perceptionsapparat - krop og sind - som jo ikke under normale omstændigheder, er gearet til at modtage og bearbejde så store mængder af stimuli og information på en gang.
Mystikeren kan derfor opleve, at hendes krop reagerer helt uden for hendes bevidstheds kontrol med sved eller gåsehud, spasmer, kvalme, tungetale - ord på ukendte sprog, som hun aldrig tidligere har hørt eller sange, hun aldrig har sunget.
Den mystiske oplevelse er en slags øjebliksindsigt, hvor skellet mellem den der oplever, og det der opleves, falder bort, og mystikeren oplever i situationen at hendes bevidsthed midlertidigt strækker sig ud over hendes egen private identitet og erfaringsramme. I denne sammensmeltning er mystikeren fuldt beskæftiget med dels at være til stede i oplevelsens totalitet og samtidig også optaget af at begribe og fastholde oplevelsens indhold eller ’budskab’.
Mange kilder peger på at de mystiske oplevelser tilsyneladende udspringer fra en art kollektiv overbevidsthed, som mystikeren gennem sin åbenhed, momentært kan ’koble op til’, og at oplevelserne ofte manifesterer sig som klarsyn, der forbinder ting, ideer, væsener, naturkræfter og landskaber på måder, der lader sig billed- og sprogliggøre via en arketypisk symbolsk fænomenologi af figurer - dyr og mennesker - der på grund af deres ’eventyrlige’ og universalistiske fremtoning transcenderer ikke bare tid og sted men også etnicitet, art, køn og kult.
Linda Horn siger, at hun oplever en intuitiv samhørighed med de kræfter der manifesteres ad energetiske kanaler, og at hun under arbejdet med at skabe billeder, trygt kan læne sig ind i en perfekt, kraftfuld og helende natur for derved selv at blive hel. Ad den vej har hun forstået, hvorledes naturen er indlejret i menneskekroppen og at de sanselige potentialer der knytter sig hertil , rummer kræfter af orgiastiske dimensioner. På den baggrund har hun erkendt, at den længsel som vækkes i en af naturen, er en længsel efter at forene sig med sin egen natur.
Det er således tydeligt, at Linda Horns kunst indeholder materiale, som kommer fra sindets, kroppens og den kollektive underbevidstheds dybeste lag. Hun ser sig som kunstner, som en seismograf, der for en stund tilsidesætter alt andet for i det nærvær som opstår i ensomheden, at registrerer og formgive det gemte og glemte, der venter på at blive genopdaget, og som for den aktivt lyttende bæres frem som næppe hørbare rystelser fra universet.
Læg til dette indhold, det helt særlige æstetiske præg, som kommer til syne som det personlige kunstneriske udtryk og har rod i hendes uddannelse og kunnen i forhold til det at skabe kunst.
Hun er uddannet i Krakow i Polen og fortrinsvis af polske undervisere i Danmark. Af den grund står Linda Horn på en hæderkronet polsk grafisk tradition, som er verdenskendt for dens håndværksmæssige kvaliteter. En tradition hvor fordybelsen skærper kunstnerens sans for selve stregens livgivende og poetiske potentialer, og udvikler hendes evne til at bruge papirets farvemæssige og taktile kvaliteter i kombination med den dygtige balancering af lys og skygge på motivet. Samt ikke mindst, den nuancerede brug af gråtoneskalaen, ledsaget af jordfarver eller enkelte udtryksfulde ’staffagefarver’.
Kunst af denne type er intuitiv og derfor ’feminin’ funderet i eros frem for det ’maskuline’ logos. Det er ikke comme il faut i Danmark, hvor rationalitet, formalisme og minimalisme længe har haft forrang på de bonede gallerigulve. Der hersker stadig en udbredt forskrækkelse over for ’det mystiske’, som i samtidskunst regi helst placeres under titlen ’det uhyggelige’ (Tysk: unheimlich) og det er en skam, for herved overses den mulighed, at det mystiske rummer store frugtbare og positive potentialer for en dybere indlevelse i og fortrolighed med eksistensens (naturlige) rige underbevidste lag.
En kilde til forvandling
Linda Horn peger på, hvordan hun selv har oplevet sit arbejde som forvandlende og udviklende: som en kilde til vækst og forandring. Det at turde lade kunsten eller poesien tage over, der hvor sproget og logikken ophører, er i sig selv en form for overgangsrite, hvorunder du accepterer ting, som du måske aldrig helt forstår. Anelser og fornemmelser, som er påtrængende og virkelige på måder, som ikke lader dig i tvivl om deres relevans og særegne tilstedeværelse som pejlemærker og tegn for den menneskelige bevidsthed at navigere efter. I dag hvor det er så let at finde adspredelser, kan det være næsten umuligt at høre, hvad underbevidstheden forsøger at sige – ”at lytte til sjælens visken”, som Linda Horn udtrykker det. Derfor har vi brug for kunstnere, som har den fornødne disciplin til at lytte og give form til det, vi andre har for travlt til selv at opdage i vores kaotiske og udmattende hverdagsliv.
Shamanisme og Naturen
Linda Horns mange portrætter skildre mennesket som (ur)natur: som sansende organ. Hun er optaget af shamanisme, som jo er en ekskluderet kult i vores samfund, og skræmt over vores kulturs foragt for naturen og naturfolkene og over vores ukontrollable rovdrift på Jordens ressourcer på bekostning af os selv og de arter, vi deler denne smukke og sårbare blå planet med.
”Den kære Jord vi bor på, er jo en levende organisme. At begribe det vækker dyb genklang i vores instinktive fornemmelse for livskraften i alle ting. At forbinde jord og himmel, både fysisk og åndeligt for at genvinde helheden, er en stor drivkraft i mit billedarbejde.” Citat Linda Horn.
Vi befinder os i en kaotisk og skræmmende antropocæn tid, hvor klimaforandringerne truer vores fremtid. Det er Linda Horns overbevisning, at vi først kan gribe til handling, når vi forstår, at vi selv er natur. Og at når vi gør det, forstår vi intuitivt også, hvad naturen er og hvad den bliver udsat for.
Lige nu mærker vi en stor skamfuldhed i blandt os, fordi det er smertefuldt at nå frem til en sådan bevidsthed, der så snart den erkendes, nødvendigvis også afkræver os ansvarlighed og handling.
Tegning som meditativ dør ind til det ubevidste
Linda Horn er som kunstner og mystiker funderet i æstetikken og derfor benytter hun i særlig grad tegning som instrument og meditativ dør ind til det ubevidste. Der er en lang tradition for dette blandt kunstnere som kan spores helt tilbage til hulemalerne i den menneskelige epokes tidligste barndom. I forhold til mere moderne forbilleder har Linda Horn et godt øje til en række af helt særlige kvindelige billedkunstnere: Georgia O’keeffe (1887 - 1986), Mèret Oppenheim (1913 -1985), Louise Bourgeois (1911 - 2010) og Malene Dumas (f.1953)
Linda Horn har for nyligt skabt en serie portrætter af androgyne væsener; det er billeder, der peger på sindet og på den urgamle visdom, vi ubevidst bærer inden i os. De adresserer det, som vi af materialismens kunstighed er blevet fremmedgjorte overfor, det naturgivne dybt i vores sind og sjæl, som er skjult for det blotte øje, og som kræver intention at opdage, og som samtidig stadig er sandt i eksistentiel forstand.
Tegningen hjælper os med at nærme os dette, fordi selve stregen har en nerve, et nærvær, en rytme eller puls - som hjerteslag måske eller vibrationer, om du vil. Når vi lader os opsluge af billedet, hører tankerne op et øjeblik, og vi kan opleve en tilstand af sammensmeltning med værket, hvorunder vores åbenhed i øjeblikket, tillader det at formidler sit indhold på en energetisk og ordløs facon. Lykkes det, vil beskueren opleve billederne som sanselige og poetiske vejvisere, der åbner sindet og peger på de områder af vores eksistens, hvor der er brug for mere lys og bevidsthed. Når det sker, går vi fra oplevelsen med et forandret perspektiv, som hvis vi lytter til dets budskab, tvinger os til at handle mere opmærksomt og omsorgsfuldt i fremtiden.
On Linda Horn’s paintings
The first thing that meets the eye in Linda Horn’s paintings is their powerful emotional intensity. What we see is apparently portraits, but not in the ordinary sense: with the clinical precision of Thomas Kluge or the magical realism of Jørgen Boberg. Not queens, moneymen, bishops, writers, nor any living, physical person from the real world is the motive of Linda Horn’s paintings. She paints types; what humans are behind the façade of lies and concealment. Thus, there is no reason for Linda Horn to paint naturalistically. A Linda Horn painting is roughly constructed according to the same template: hair, ears, nose, shoulders, arms and hands are barely rendered as slight contours or surfaces of color living their own independent life. The skin, on the other hand, are covered in many layers of color, like theatre makeup of an actor, with clear indications of brushstrokes and a range of colors dominated by white, grey, and beige, with a few bold nuances of rusty red, sulfuric yellow, bluish black or pink. Deep behind these intense layers of color, the eyes appear along with a set of full lips, defying all doubts that these are the reference points of the painting, in composition as well as symbolically.
The eyes are the mirror of the soul, they say: In the case of Linda Horn’s art, this is true in such a significant way that the eyes and the sensitively registered mouth are the key to understand the painting.
The artist herself mentions the writer Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) as an important source of inspiration. In novels such as “Mrs. Dalloway”, “To the lighthouse” and “Orlando” Woolf, possibly the female equivalent of James Joyce, reached an unprecedented insight into the intricate webs of repression, envy, despair and ennui of human beings. Similarly, Linda Horn creates the facial features of her persons with thick layers of color that could be perceived as the character-like makeup that they have based their identity upon. This makeup has slowly devoured them, suggested by the artist through the use of symbolic colors; like when a leaden hint around the lips or a faded shade of green around the eyes suggest a person in a deep existential crisis, only sustained by the conventions on proper behavior.
Over all, the unique feature of wearing too much makeup defines the characters of Linda Horn. Their mouths are harsh, their eyes glowing with pain, vulnerability and melancholy. They are unable to escape the web of alienation they have spun for themselves. Only in the children you have a sense that the possibilities are still left open. In them, the makeup is less significant. Their faces are puzzled, yet expectant of the life that is about to unveil itself to them. Linda Horn expresses this through a less tense and less claustrophobic composition and the use of more optimistic colors. The children still have the chance of having a life free from concealments and lies, even though for some you already sense the harsh features that will provide them with success in their careers, but leave them emotionally warped.
It is rare to see a young artist break through with such powerful paintings, but Linda Horn has already proven that she is in possession of an emotional repertoire of great strength and intensity. Her way of painting and her entire approach to the art is profound and original, mainly because she pays little attention to what is currently in focus at the national and international art scene. Instead, she concentrates on developing her own imagery, and in the end this is what separates the sheep from the goates. There is no doubt in my mind: Linda Horn is on her way to something great.
By Tom Jørgensen, editor of Kunstavisen
(A view on the genesis of ideas in art and life)
Everything phenomenal is subject to the law of change. We only experience a little bit of the present and do not comprehend its mystery. A series of moments succeeding one another are changing incessantly like phantasms on the screen of the mind. Between the past, the present and the future there are innumerable ephemeral moments in our subjective conception of time. Incontrovertibly they exist somewhere together, although we do not perceive them. However, in order that anything can change at all, both in the objects of thoughts and in the natural world, this can only happen against the background of something unchangeable. Whatever designation we may have of this unmentionable thing beyond name and form, whether it be the essence of good, truth and beauty, the perfect state, the transcendence, the eternal Now, the divine oneness (deus abscunditus), such a powerful principle is just the one unchangeable substance behind all changeability in this universe of appearances. This absolute eternal unity is the very source of equanimity, peace and harmony, which all beings subject to a conditioned existence intentionally or unintentionally are striving after.
Who can keep up this ideal, and applying to the levels below, who can pass on and communicate the interplay of harmonies and forces in the worlds of spirit and matter? The musician, the poet, the sculptor, the visual artist and painter try knowingly or unknowingly to reach the perfection behind the form, to grasp, to transform, to express and materialize what is more or less intangible. (As regards the a priori cognition the skillful artist with a deeper sense and an inherent appreciation of the finer shades is closer to the true noumenal world than the representative of the empirical sciences.) Who can within the barriers of time and space remake or freeze the changeable objects and movable creatures in the transient dreamland of phenomena so they become a seemingly constant and solid body? If any, such a highly-gifted talent belongs to the visual artist, not because of a special prerogative, but because an undeniable force is working through the inspired person. He or she has always aimed to maintain the passing instant amid the vicissitudes of life, including every evanescent state of mind of our momentarily and daily inner experiences, and sometimes even catches a glimpse of the vitalizing force in nature.
Linda Horn from Denmark is one of the visual artists in our time, who manage to seize the hidden something and distinctly to transform the unseen to the final phase of the creative process concretized on the white canvas. The preferred way of expressing herself is through the portrait that mainly reveals essential and unique snap shots of general and specific features in different people’s physiognomy and gesture, where the indefinable is shining through as from another world. The types are more or less idealized, at the same time present and out of reach, at times even ethereal in their expressivity, by means of which the eyes (as “the mirror of the soul or the mind”), but likewise the foci of the hands, can be mentioned in particular.
In order to comprehend this it is necessary to reflect on what is going on in the mind and lies behind the everyday routine, not only on the basis of what the product of art is revealing, but generally in life. The will and the thought of man is usually written all over the face where they are expressed more or less distinctly or dimly, especially the dispositions or the affections, and more so from and in the eyes, that is, from and in the organs of sight issuing from the obscure recesses of the mind, although this is not always a fixed rule if pretending is covering the true intensions, it depends on the unnatural capability of simulating and hiding the genuine feelings and mental activity as well as the flow of all kinds of figments of the imagination. The gesticulations, the bodily acts and locomotion, the movements of the muscles, the speech, nay every distinctive external function besides, are representations of the interior of the mind, that is, of its contents of various moods, thoughts and tendencies, and to the same extent they are in mutual agreement they correspond with each other, but in simulation and false pretence there is no correspondence whatsoever, because there is disagreement between the inner and the outer side, or to clarify the point more accurately, if the inner is bad and the outer appears good or the inner is false and the outer is seemingly true there is incongruity, and if the one is in discordance with the other the ultimate correspondence is lacking.
However, when the thinking and willing faculties appear expressively, considerably in the face and the eyes, through characteristic features like smiles, pitiful looks or otherwise, and also partly recognizable in the body in its entirety, they do not manifest as the images are known in the mind, rather as conceptions and thoughts sustained in the frame, their inner representatives as it were in the corporeal area. To elaborate this matter further the following ought to be added:
“Ideas are ruling the world, the philosopher says”; and indeed, the whole of nature is nothing but a picture of inner things. These are contained in the regions of the mind ordinarily not to be observed, or one could say, in the regions of inner nature entirely distinct from the natural world in its outermost; it is where the soul of things exist, and also where beautiful landscapes, woodlands, meadows, flowers, fountains and other wonders beyond the scope of external view exist in purified forms. All beautiful, decorated and embellished things deduce their origin from a most inner and heavenly realm, the same is applying to the soul that pertains to the different species of plants and animals, and when those things are flowing into the solids of outer nature they will live on as causes concealed in the visible effects. Herein the poet concurs when he exclaims: “The outward doth from the inward roll, and the inward dwells in the inmost soul.”
All things in nature (viz., in the mineral, floral and animal kingdoms), somehow represent a cause, and there from other causes until the first cause (prima causa). It is a rule that thoughts, words and deeds have causes, that causes have purposes, and by the very fact that the first cause is purpose by itself and the primary of all, it follows that nothing can exist, not in the least, without purpose in the cause. The reason why all things in general and in particular on earth and above are representing is that they appear and continue to appear from the first cause. It is comparable to the things of the human body that remains by virtue of the soul or by the vital forces constituting the dormant or active uses and intentions. Categorically all effects are representations of the uses, which are the causes; the uses are accompanied by representations of the more inner intentions and purposes.
This internal sphere of existence consists of subtle beings attired in bodies with substances of either a non-human or human form, each one having self-expressions and vital necessities peculiar to them, obviously, and more especially with regard to the latter, deprived of earthly curtailments while living the essential human life in the embodiment of proneness and understanding due to an innate tendency always to assume a human likeness. This is what is called the interior of the mind, i.e., the interior of the human being or the spiritual part of him, in complete contrast to the natural mind and even to the outer man of the world.
So, the human body appears and is sustained by means of the soul or its influence, therefore every single thing in the body represents the soul, in that respect meaning the use and the purpose which the body and its members carry into execution. When entities of the inner sphere are communicating, speaking, discoursing and thinking the combined subjects in question are attended with emblematic appearances of lively images or incidents, and also of fantasies and illusions, representing the different issues. These pictorial representations are multitudinous, or rather countless, and appear in such a concentrated way that one simple thought or word expressed in pictures or sceneries contain so many ideas, nearer or further to the special theme, that one is unable to count them, and, just to compare, what ordinarily can be said or written in one hour will here show itself in less than a minute.
For the sake of the example, and spoken in general terms only, then a representation of this kind, either if anybody are occupied in a conversation or someone is absorbed in thinking or speaking that deals with intellectual and learning matters, or acquired knowledge, will assume the form of a horse, and sometimes with a horseman or a carriage, depending on the content of the thought or speech. Of course it does not refer to a natural horse, but to the idea of a horse when it symbolizes the language of the inner world. It may be further noted that if donkeys appear they signify services; if a lamb appears, likewise a small child or baby, it signifies innocence; if cattle it means goodness of truth; if bread goodness of love (that sustains spiritual life); silver refers to truth (the moon does too as it represents the mind); when arms, hands or shoulders are to be seen they signify the power of truth because these limbs and body parts refer to strength and executive force. So it goes on with other subjects, like the meaning of houses, palaces or ornamental gardens, each with its particular representations. Respecting things of marriage, then conjugal love, it has been told, is symbolized as rainbows in varying blue colors and as golden raindrops. Also merits and demerits, virtues and vices, like guilelessness and conceit, are showing themselves in their corresponding forms.
When such things occur among people in the world, their feelings, thoughts and actions are derived from all this, not excepting the artist when receiving changing moods and ideas in a conscious, half-conscious or dreamy condition, which combined with the latent influences of old impressions stored in the unconscious and subconscious strata evoke the overwhelming inspiration that makes the creative abilities possible, let alone, confirms that man is a co-creator with the creative forces.
Whatever our senses perceive in the world is the outcome of something else or somebody else; likewise is every thought and feeling, every wish and inclination that arises in the mind the offspring from others or from other things. An idea goes through different phases until the conception becomes conscious in the persons own mind; it is like a growing seed which matures and is yielding good crops in its season, or the bringing forth of fruit in the ripening-period; another thing is when one receives the influences concerning the representing images, apart from the direct transference of thoughts or impulses from other minds, although the latter mostly are unaware of the process because they live in a similar idea that is found in the mind of the recipient. Therefore it occurs that the inspired artists marvel greatly and surprisingly ask themselves where the inspiration comes from.
This is essentially why the substantial idea as a pictorial form after reaching the outer plane of nature is sustained there (whether in the mind or in the specific work of art), and because it is essential and living then dead matter becomes apparently alive. It is as much as to say that the universe has two sides, if differentiated even more, but basically two, an inner and an outer, like the subjective compared with the objective, the prior with the subsequent, or the cause with the effect, regularly interconnected by the universal principles of correspondences and representations.
From what has been said hitherto this can, in brief outline, be concluded: The things of the mind belong to the spirit, whereas the things of the body are natural things; there is an influx of the former into the latter, a continuous inflowing of what is pertaining to volition and thinking from the innermost to the outermost, including some connected intermediate stages; in other words, when the things of the interior are depicted in the exterior and become visible they represent the inner world of man. The contents of the mutually influencing minds or mind-levels in oneself and others, composed of ideas, thoughts and emotions, or rather the representations of same as regards their true inwardness, which are further or closer to ones awareness, can therefore in their final manifestations be likened to symbols and be read and understood as such by the perceiver if the person is familiar with the symbolic language.
One feels obliged to digress a little more dilating on the reference to the above: The language of symbolism can never be erased as long as spirit expresses itself through nature; the real and deeper meaning of this language, wherever and however it is expressed, will remain hidden behind the literal meaning of the outer symbolic form until it becomes recognizable. If a person receives and familiarizes himself with the living symbols in heart and mind it enables him to make them knowable and perceive them aright. Still, one thing is clear; the effects of symbols or representations suggest their principles and causes, besides the governing laws generating them; after all, symbols are objectified ideas, of which the simple ones become more complicated in those alterations with which they are correlated.
The paintings and drawings of the above mentioned Danish painter, Linda Horn, are, although not always conspicuous and at first glance not necessarily noticeable, bristled with symbols that surround the figures, keen representations and correspondent images with inner meanings, and whose origin is accessible and also comprehensible in the clandestine spiritual realm. To explain them properly is not advisable, maybe not even possible, if so it would not be appropriate, because the portraits in full, and especially their enclosed symbols, are really things that have to be experienced and sensed in the mind with the kind of wordless communication that makes one realize the true meaning.
Nonetheless it is allowable to mention a few examples, just to give a general survey of her practice concerning this incorporated symbolism. Fertility-symbols are seen in the work “The Black Madonna”; allusions to nature is revealed in “Hopi”; “The Night” is presumably a personification of the goddess Nyx; the circle or the disc is represented in “Antique”; an indication or full representation of symbols like butterfly, wings or bird enter into pictures such as “Before the blossom”, “Moth”, Growing phase 1, “Renaissance”, “Alba”. Fully to interpret the diverse meanings of these symbols is not even a possibility, which their complexity exclude, especially because each and everyone, as stated, is composed of varied thoughts accompanied by a multitude of ideas; only one is able to emphasize some of them concisely and separately, exemplified as follows:
The round circular figure resembling a disc is comparable with the sun (occasionally drawn with a symbolic dot in the middle), not simply the natural sun, but the spiritual sun signifying infinity, the supreme Deity or the innermost Self of all beings and of all things. Furthermore the sun in form of a circle is symbolizing the heart (that which is truly human) and the heart of things, the loving disposition, feelings, gold, royalty or the like.
The butterfly is mostly a symbol of the soul, but also of what is passing and evasive. It tells about transformation, in particular connected with the inner development of man, exquisitely illustrated in nature concerning the metamorphosis of the caterpillar becoming a chrysalis and finally a butterfly that lives freely in the air as a flying creature differing completely from the earthbound larva.
An extension of the butterfly symbol is the wings, from which, in a sense, the bird is derived; in this case because the use creates the form, the form does not determine the use. As mentioned above are all effects similarly a representation of uses, which are the causes, and the uses represent the purposes belonging to the starting points. The winged creature is naturally synonymous with flying; the wings are readymade forms serving as tools, the capacities and functions as their uses exerted by the wings, thus uniting the causes with the effects. We sometimes eagerly wish to fly away, either literally to escape our encasement in our limited mortal frame and sour high like a hovering bird, or figuratively on the wings of thought. The wings signify in the main protection (similar to the shield), swiftness and the messenger, e.g.: The hen is protecting the chickens under her wings, equally the goddess of night in her merciful aspect when she is spreading her protecting wings over the earth; Mercury is the messenger of the gods and in art depicted with wings on sandals and helmet due to his ability to move swiftly; angelic beings are also assumed to be messengers equipped with wings as a token of swiftness. From an inner perspective the bird is a representation of thought, just as the specific bird relates to a particular kind of thought and the group of ideas attached to it.
Everything considered the inspiration to the works of Linda Horn has been drawn from various sources (in the external meaning). It partly issues from an imaginary sphere, partly from nature and the social reality, including photographs of people serving indirectly as models, although references to the fundamental types undoubtedly enter into it. Certain motives originate obviously from the primordial types or the archetypical basic forms with special reference to the idea of the eternal femininity (das ewig weibliche zieht uns hinan), for instance personified in the mythical amazon or female warrior, in the madonna or saintly woman, in the hetaera or the courtesan, in the mother and her girl, likewise in the Great Mother (Magna Mater), the agent of the vast Consciousness, in whose image the grandiosity of Nature is omnipresent, the very same all-inclusive Nature that, in the capacity of primal power on behalf of her own empowerment, commands the extreme opposites of constructive and destructive energies.
Another source of inspiration to the portraits of Linda Horn is among plenty of things the magical world of dramatic art. The art of acting is to a certain degree compatible with her personal approach and style on account of congeniality; both branches of art aim at, or ought ideally to do so, the so called catharsis, in agreement with the tragedy of the dramatists of old, videlicet of the original drama of antiquity (especially in connection with the cult of Dionysus), that purification of the mind, which all true art and literature evoke, or preferably should evoke, and both art forms are able to transfer the purifying power and what it implies to the spectator or the observer, as if the persons concerned are in a holy place, as the serenity of the mind replaces the elimination of the impure components and by that means increases the receptiveness to more subtle influences.
In the capacity of an unbiased observer of the actors creative rendering of various parts in theater and the cinemas Linda Horn has efficiently been capable to apply the mobile and momentary sequences of this art form to the unmovable two-dimensional surface of the canvas, also to make alive its special atmosphere with the swarm of dynamic feelings, movements, change of scenes (idiomatically, “changement”) and expressions where the stationary picture often cause intense feelings in addition to sensations of a psychological depth and plasticity in a most agile and sometimes rather touching way.
(A corresponding modus operandi naturally is known to every skilful scene painter, albeit for the most part in the style of caricature specifically focused on the comical exaggeration. This particular painter of the theater differs essentially from the angle of approach of the portrait painter whose different manner and broader disposition often makes room for more options within the range of possibilities depending on how skillfully the various actors portray their roles and consequently enter into the spirit of the performance.)
Moreover the visual artist, in this particular case Linda Horn, passes on the manifested facets of the actor and the part from a unique perspective, so that the characters not exclusively are naturalistic representations, but furthermore, and maybe even to a considerably higher degree, are concrete mental depictions of another substantial reality behind the boundary of the outer forms where the inflowing life is ending, and hence is the end of the symbiosis of spirit with nature. These depictions both have subjective and objective qualities, because projections from the individual mind of the artist in a wonderful way prove to be in accordance with the independent existence of the types and primeval images that reside in the common human or collective mind-reservoir.
To list and recount the comprehensive works of Linda Horn in extenso regarding this topic (and other topics as well) is a long-winded task, therefore it would be adequate for the purpose to emphasize the following (few) selected works of dramatis personae on both the stage of life and the theatre or in the illusory space of the movie in order to give a hint about the varied modes of expression of her art:
Exempli gratia: “Marie and Vibeke”, a mother-daughter-relationship, based on the play “Blood-bond”, a description of the life of the woman and painter Marie Krøyer; “Custody”, a portray of the Norwegian dramatist Lars Norén; “Miss Juliet”, after a Strindberg-drama with the same title (1888); “A Study of Cabaret”, a painting executed after John van Druten´s play “I Am a Camera”, based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood entitled “Goodbye to Berlin”, and also after the subsequent screen version of this book called “Cabaret” (1972); “Mrs. Dalloway and Flora”, portraits of two women, inspired by the movie “The Hours” (2002), etcetera, etcetera.
On balance, and irrespective of subject and title, the portrayed figures occasionally emanate a reflection of higher pitches outgoing from a supra-personal level towards the natural mind often engulfed by distress, confusion and contradictions, just like the sunbeams disperse the clouds and neutralize the darkness, or they reflect conditions such as pity, gloom, loneliness, togetherness, the inexplicable and mystical, profound feelings and obscure purposes, the atrabilious hand in hand with the lighthearted, a dark sphere in the midst of sunshine, or the reverse.
There is also a strange feeling of some unfinished metaphorical messages, seemingly abiding in an unfathomable underground; notwithstanding an emerging clarity from the substruction below vividly expresses itself and by means of which one clearly conceives a permanent center of gravity whose pronounced depth fill in the surface of the canvas as well as the sphere of attention of the observer. However, the gist of the matter is the magic and fascination, which the portraits are leaving, and this is first and foremost the reason why Linda Horn not solely gives the impression of being a competent, but also a different portrait painter.