Yesterday’s post regarding symbols and icons got me thinking about how powerful yet minimalist some symbols are. This image isn’t a black and white image as such, in fact only the black marks have referents. All the white within the frame has had any photographic trace removed. Yet the cultural significance of the outline is clear to anyone with knowledge of the Christian faith even though I have not presented either of the two most well known symbols here – fishes or the cross. Of course, and to be exact, this image is an icon rather than a symbol – but a very very reduced and minimised one.
I don’t mean the image is minimalist. In fact it’s quite busy and very different from say Hiroshi Sugimoto’s seascapes (link). That type of image is quite calming and serene with large areas of flatness in the frame whereas I think mine has more in common with the collages of the Dadaists in that the frame contains lots of things and so is busy and obvious.