Part of a canvas triptych created for my final Masters Project. Created using Blender, ZBrush, & Photoshop.
Medieval European artists created imagery steeped in the Uncanny. Through the creation of representational religious imagery, they delved into the depths of the human psyche. The Devil, ubiquitous symbol in Christian faiths for the evil inherit in man, and his minions in corruption, were represented in canvas and sculpture. Serving as propaganda, decorating churches and cathedrals in reminder to the masses that Hell awaits those who Sin. This form of propagandised expression died out with the Enlightenment and the age of Reason. However, this formative age of Western Culture spawned some of the most Uncanny art the world has seen.
Artists creating these images had free reign to create their grisly depictions. However, certain influences shone throughout. Pagan culture was distorted, and its Gods became their Uncanny Doppelgängers, the Demons of Christianity (in fitting with Freud’s theory.) In this manner, Deities symbolising a celebration of life and the vital became tools of its oppression.
In depicting the Evils of Hell, these artists had free reign to create whichever horrors their imaginations could birth. Each creation an artist makes reveals something to the audience about the artist, as, as Hepworth argued, artistic creation was the convergence of the conscious and unconscious minds. In depicting the things which they were to repress, they were exploring those very acts within their fantasies. They were presenting their repressed desires, for the sole function of the repression of desire. Dreams are thought to be the allowance of the expression of repressed desire in a safe way to be processed by the mind. Artists, such as the Surrealists, often sought to explore these realms as a way to express and discover repressed and hidden wonders of the self and the external reality. These precursors to the pioneering dream explorers sought instead to use their dreams to create fear and prostration. As the desire to dominate and control could be considered an Evil human trait, the artists, even if they sought to warn the populous with their work, could be considered the Uncanny Double of their future counterparts.