Heyoka’s Workbench

Through the Smokehole

In a recent post, I mentioned a painting whose memory has never vanished from my mind since I first saw it in a book.

The painting is by the late artist Phil Janzé and bears the title »Through the Smokehole«. It can be seen at the Weltmuseum in Vienna.

On a tangible level, this work refers to an old tale of the native peoples of the American North-West: »Raven Steals The Sun, Stars And Moon«. It’s a tale about how mythical Raven brought light into the world.

But you can understand the picture on a metaphorical level too. – Raven, sqeezing through the smokehole and heading for the skies, may symbolise abstract ideas like breakthrough, leaping forward, widening one’s horizon, overcoming adversities, reaching out for new opportunities.

I first discovered Phil Janzé’s painting (or rather: screen printing) when I had left quite an unpleasant episode behind. Now I rediscovered it when I have just pushed my black year 2018 aside and things are beginning to look more friendly again.

I decided to become a »cultural sponsor« (Kulturpate) for this picture. I see it as a good omen and as my lucky charm and dedicate it to all around me who are having tough times right now.

Top left: Screen printing »Through the Smokehole« by Phil Janzé (courtesy of @KHM-Museumsverband and Weltmuseum Wien).

Cultural sponsor for the screen Printing “Through the Smokehole” by Phil Janzé