Einsteins Dreams Triptycha

Puma Buck


Triptych Project


This triptych relates to the concept of time in relationship to religion as is described in Einstein’s Dreams. Chapter 6 (28 April, 1905) talks about the ways in which time is central to religion and the fact that time is the basis for which all things are judged. I thought that this was an interesting connection to make, as I had never thought much about the direct correlation between religion and time. The more I thought about it the more I realized how much the two were intertwined and how much faith and spirituality depends on the concept of time. Religion is generally a story through which time passes and gives life, and without this dimension every religion would topple.

The triptych attempts to illustrate the relationship between time and religion, using what I found to be the most powerful excerpt from that chapter: “Those of religious faith see time as the evidence for God. For surely nothing could be created perfect without a Creator. Nothing could be universal and not be divine. All absolutes are part of the One Absolute. And wherever absolutes, so too time. Thus the philosophers of ethics have placed time at the center of their belief. Time is the reference against which all actions are judged. Time is the clarity for seeing right and wrong.” (Lightman, Alan Einstien’s Dreams 16)

The relationship between time and religion in this piece is demonstrated through the relationship between the words and the images. The two components interact with and support each other, but the exact story of this piece couldn’t be clearly told without the words supporting it.

The mid panel is an illustration of a stained-glass cathedral window that is only partly colored to illustrate light streaming through the colored glass. I used taped down pieces of paper to create the negative space when I colored the glass with colored pencils. To create the black outline of the glass I used a thin sharpie.

The left panel uses a combination of words and collage. The collaged pieces are made from ripped newsprint that I used sharpie to illustrate with. The words are also drawn with sharpie. To mimic the stained glass colorway I used light washes of colored pencil. The words are also drawn out so that they look almost like they could be images, and that they interact with the collaged pieces instead of simply existing next to them.

The right panel uses only words from what I thought was the most impactful portion of this chapter. These words alone are what inspired the whole piece, so I wanted them to stand out from the rest of the piece and draw a lot of attention. For continuity, I tried to mimic the stained glass colorway once again with colored pencils.

In regards to The Agency of Mapping reading, I identified specifically with one of the authors points of clarification, which was the map’s relationship to reality. I find that with every piece of art I create whether it be realistic or abstract, that a connection to reality is important for the emotion and clarity of the piece. I believe that if an artist cannot connect their work to something that is real for them, that an art piece will lack a certain strength.

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