This is my most ambitious piece, and the one I've worked the hardest and longest on. As the title suggests, this represents my attempt to depict crossing over to the other side. Essentially, I've attempted a digital rendering of something like an after-death experience.
This image is much larger than it appears on screen and some details can't be seen clearly, or at all, in the reduced version.
People will have different reactions to this image, and different interpretations, but I'd like to offer a guide to interpreting it as I intended it. The image illustrates a process which can be read as moving in stages from the left to right, which also works as back to front. [Note that to get a really good feel for this image you can focus on the ball on the right as being far above the figures, and then look down at them from that vantage point. Admittedly it makes me a bit uncomfortable to do that, and I generally prefer to appreciate the image on the level of surface beauty.] In other words, the image doesn't portray an instant, but a timeline (ex., there are not two heads but just one in different stages of disintegration).
On the left side of the image is a figure merged into an amalgam of all materials which is cracking and folding over on itself as it approaches the center barrier. I see this as the end of physical dying, when the mental ability to interpret the material world atrophies, and thus the material world along with it. Material can't cross the center divide, and the person's corporeal existence is shed as he passes through a dividing plane or membrane, in a process of shuttling through layers of dimensions.
You can see left of the center of the image a stark division between the material and immaterial dimensions, and something like a force field, layer or membrane intersecting them perpendicularly and separating them. The layer has a hole where the person is crossing through, causing a temporary tear in the fabric of reality (for lack of a better phrasing), and ripples in the surface of the immaterial realm. Something biological and blood-like – a last vestige of bodily existence – is splattered along the ripples.
The second head is no longer material at all, an image as on film, floating briefly on the surface of the intersecting layer, and only lasting as a fleeting memory on the other side.
The kaleidoscopic sphere is something like a disembodied spirit, no longer identified with the former host body, of which it's been cleansed, and without thought or memory.
On the right is a giant ball or cavity, depending on how you look at it (a deliberate optical illusion on my part), that represents the overpowering, crushing reality of the void. Notice it is poised ominously above the heads, as if it could bounce on them or roll over them. The spherical spirit only produces a slight glow as it merges with the void. The spirit will evaporate and be (re)integrated with the timeless, space-less potential of the void.
Notice the head on the left is not looking at the giant ball above it, but averting it's eyes back to the material realm soon to be left inexorably behind. For what it's worth, according to the Bardo Thodol, or The Tibetan Book of the Dead, most people would prefer to be cast onto the rack of any incarnation rather than face obliteration in the void. I meant for there to be an element of the mysterium tremendum to this image: the wholly appropriate fear at the foot of god, to put it bluntly, though not exactly literally.
The interpretation isn't as important as just the general feel of a place or places outside of consensual reality, an intersecting of realities, and the possibility of non-corporeal existence, however ephemeral and subjective. It should be a little frightening, as is any sudden immersion in the unknown and unforeseen. At some point in the future I may share my original inspiration for this piece.
I added a Flash animation of the process here:
I added a close-up of the two heads here:
There's a page on my website all about this image here: [link]
and more than a few others
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