Anne Darling Photography

Digital Art Pictures 1
Into the Desert: Ganesha and the Donkey

ganesha and the donkey

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Most of my digital art pictures are symbolic. Some of the symbols in this photo montage are readily apparent, such as the desert, the cross and the carrion-eating bird. Other elements have symbolic meaning which is more elusive.

Symbols such as the donkey and the elephant-headed god Ganesha, vary in meaning through time, depending on the artist/writer who is interpreting or re-inventing them. A successful re-interpretation resonates with all the other interpretations, and adds to them rather than superceding them.

It is impossible then to use symbols in art without reference to the past or other cultures and their usage, so I just want to add a note about two of the images contained in this montage.

The elephant-headed god Ganesha is worshipped by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. He is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles both material and spiritual. He is considered very clever and a lover of intelligence. He is placed at the doorway of many Hindu temples to keep out the unworthy, and every village has its own image of him. My Ganesha is a modern god, wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a skull design. His hands are skeletal.

The donkey is a symbol of ignorance (as in Midsummer Night's Dream, for example). It is also a symbol of Saint Francis of Assisi. It is said that when St. Francis was on his deathbed he thanked his donkey for carrying and helping him throughout his life. The donkey is said to have wept.

Of course these are just the interpretations that I have picked out, and that resonate for me, not absolute definitions. What these symbols mean, within the context of this image, is for you, the viewer, to re-interpret for yourself, as the act of viewing a work of art is also a creative act.

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