Cosmo-Biological Elementalism is so defined due to each image consisting of both cosmic or astronomical elements alongside biological or organic elements. This is an art without scale, a sperm doubles as a comet, each star as a single cell.
The essential structures, or ‘elements’ of dynamic energetic processes at work in both our physical universe and in our inner (psychic) universe are described by means of a unique visual language; a geometrical vocabulary is employed consisting of cosmic, physical and organic elements combined, their individual forms drawn from the entire history of art itself. This is an integral art form, a pictorial integration of disparate elements, with each symbol set moulded and formed into a harmonious whole.
Structures found in Paleolithic cave art rub shoulders with modern advertising symbols, figures taken from astronomical diagrams combine with symbols drawn from biological textbooks. This is an art form fully focused upon procreation in its widest sense, the birth of a child becomes the birth of the universe, the sexual act derivative from the divine act of creation, ‘as above, so below’.
It could be argued that there is a mediumistic aspect to all art; elements and archetypes from the unconscious often make themselves known through the artform at hand. With Cosmo-Biological Elementalism one finds purely spiritual images, pictorial descriptions of inner energetic processes from what is termed the ‘Internal Celestial.’ This may be described as the inner world of symbols that reflects the outer symbol field through which we navigate on a daily basis.
Common elements to be found are the cross, the sun, the Pleiades or ‘Seven Sisters’, the sperm, the comet, the star and the single cell. Here may be found the vibrational pattern of the photon, creating beautiful black and grey ripples in the pristine, white primordial symbolic soup. Forms twist, fold and turn as though spiritual energy is cascading down a waterfall like structure of ectoplasm, or is steadily swirling in a whirlpool galaxy formation.
R. S. Kennedy
early life and tuition
Next university beckoned and Ralph won a place at St Andrews University in Scotland where, in 1999, he completed a Masters degree, specialising in ‘The History of Art’ with particular emphasis upon art nouveau in Eastern Europe and Russia, around the turn of the 20th century. It was at St. Andrews that Ralph met the Swedish artist Stephan Hörhammer who, though not providing formal tuition, nevertheless gave ample instruction on ‘the ways of a professional artist’. Stephan’s geometrical and highly stylised paintings left a lasting impression and paved the way for the development of CBE.
initial artistic influences
Orphism and Vorticism also gave inspiration, with a bustling of geometry and patterns of energetic movement, all undertaken using carefully controlled colour palettes. The more abstract wartime works of Wyndham Lewis in particular provided influence.
The organic, highly stylised art nouveau motifs to be found in Eastern European art nouveau were of great importance in the development of CBE, along with the fascinating ‘folk art’ that was produced in the Abramtsevo and Talashkino craft colonies near Finland’s border with Russia.
Other important influences are the primivitism and colour sensitivity found in the work of Paul Klee, alongside the spiritual simplicity of many of Mondrian’s early works, before total abstraction took hold of him.
the birth of cbe
Astronomical images and biological diagrams proved to be equally fascinating, alongside more traditional images of classic artworks and soon the beginnings of Cosmo-Biological Elementalism began to show in the form of small drawings. The simplicity and immediacy of the pen and pencil upon paper proved to be the most appropriate medium to use. Two decades on and the influence of these early, rather crude attempts can still be detected within a contemporary CBE drawing.