Cosmic Flower Unfolding

Cosmic Flower Unfolding is a constant flow of emerging and dissolving oceanic, futuristic, and mandala forms. It is a tribute to abstraction, its connection to the inner space we inhabit and how it can be externalized.

The film opens with glowing plankton-like shapes that pulse and flow through an empty void in a dreamy fashion, like a flow of unconscious thought. One of the glowing forms begins to undergo a metamorphosis and transmutes into a starfish flower mandala. The mandala turns itself inside out in a rush of color revealing a multi layered spiral of geometric shapes of great complexity. The shapes rapidly develop into a surreal hyperspace flower face that is consuming and expelling syntactic symbols as it approaches. The film ends with a curtain of repeating zoetic forms washing across the screen like a closing eyelid, symbolizing the closing of the mind’s eye and the end of the muse.

Ben Ridgway Cosmic Flower Unfolding screenshot01webBen Ridgway Cosmic Flower Unfolding screenshot04webBen Ridgway Cosmic Flower Unfolding screenshot05web

One day while meditating I tried to visualize in my mind’s eye how I might be able to animate a flower unfolding made up of glowing, pulsating shapes. When I did this I spontaneously saw a face made up of intricate glowing shapes that glowed like neon. The face was inhaling and exhaling at the same time and seemed to represent the exchange of energy and life that we experience through human existence. Every time I thought about making a film, this experience would come back to me, beckoning me to translate it into a moving image.

At the time I had been studying the illustrations of Ernest Haeckel and was planning on doing a homage to his work at some point. The marriage of oceanic motifs inspired by Haeckel mixed with the flower idea excited me and became the driving inspiration for the film. Ernest Haeckel is famous for his incredibly intricate renditions of animals and sea creatures. Many of his images exhibit noticeable symmetry both through individual forms and overall composition. To me, he uncovered the divine in his work through masterfully  transforming mundane life forms into idealized artistic interpretations of those forms.

 

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