T R A N S F I G U R A T I O N S
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
FOR LOVE OF THE DIVINE
THE ACCA EXPERIMENTS
Compiled by Christine Davidson
"I am a star which goes with thee
and shines out of the depths."
"It is well to remember that a picture before being a battle
horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote is essentially a flat
surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order."
Maurice Denis (1890)
"The saint is a saint not because he is 'good'
but because he is transparent for something
that is more than himself."
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS
Hymn: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson like a robe,
Spreads o'er his body on the Tree,
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Till you've earned
knowledge of good and evil
site of rage,
ambush of greed,
house of passion,
fence of pride,
mask of envy.
Till you know and lose this knowing
you've no way
my Lord white as Jasmine.
Speaking of Shiva
12th century India
Perfume of flowers
Tara the White
In the dome of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, chants
resound like liquid light recalling the poet's note -
"It gives a very echo to the
seat where love is enthroned".
Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (ii. iv. 21)
"One cannot predict the next mythology any
more than one can predict tonight's dream;
for a mythology is not an ideology.
It is not something projected from the brain,
but something experienced from the heart,
from a recognition of identities behind or
within the appearance of nature, perceiving
with love a 'thou' where there would have
otherwise been only an 'it'. As stated
centuries ago in the India Kena Upanishad:
'That which in the lightning flashes forth,
makes one blink, and say "Ah!" - that "Ah!"
refers to divinity'."
N O T E
1: Cambell, Joseph The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and Religion,
Harper and Row, New York, 1989, p. 17
The publication of this booklet, and
the exhibition The ACCA Experiments:
Micky Allan - For Love of the Divine
is sponsored by the Victorian Health
The Australian Centre for
Contemporary Art is assisted by the
Victorian Ministry for the Arts and
the Visual Arts/Craft Board of
the Australian Council
Photography: Martin Saunders
Laserprints: Design Xtension
All reproductions courtesy Micky Allan
The Australian Centre for
Contemporary Art wishes to thank
City Gallery, Melbourne, and
Watters Gallery, Sydney.