Two Kinds of darkness - Bjørn Hatterud
Two kinds of darkness
There are two types of darkness. One is the unpleasant darkness that we flee from, the other the good darkness in which we find refuge. When Roar Werner Eriksen paints, he explores both of these forms of darkness, but perhaps first and foremost the last.
Educated in dichotomous Western thinking characterized by monotheistic religion, we are prone to avoid the darkness. The dark we think of as the place not reached by light. In a neo-Platonic Christian mindset, the darkness is where the goodness of God has not yet trumpeted. The powers of darkness are evil. Darkness is something we fall into, something we light a candle to avoid cursing.
The darkness is thus the non-being, the lack of light and salvation. Not to exist - death, is something most of us are terrified of, literally. The path to eternal afterlife lies in notions of a ray of light rising. Darkness is perdition, our greatest fear. Most parodically, this has been attempted to be confirmed by the style of black-clad Satanists on the fringed edges of black metal.
It is quickly forgotten that this is not the only way to see darkness. There is a long and parallel narrative in the history of ideas, of darkness as a place to seek rest. All world religions have had their mystics who have gladly sought out the darkness, silence and blurring of ego as a tool to achieve a good. Through quiet meditation, protected for sensory impressions, one manages to let go of one´s thoughts.
Our perception of time depends on the fact that we must first have a perception of the room. When you voluntarily enter a dark and quiet room, it is as if the psychological perception of time is quieting, because the contours of the room are gone. The chaos calms down, and the personal pursuit of affirmation, progress, change, and recovery calms down. Through this, many feel that they can meet something divine.
In such a perspective, darkness is something one can seek to find peace from the ego. Through the darkness, one can find something that transcends itself, one´s own little life. In this way, darkness can be the room one seeks for eternal rest and peace - in a good sense. When Roar Werner Eriksen paints the darkness, it is not the perdition he is painting on the wall. He creates space for his harmonious calm. And these are rooms he is generous enough to share with all of us.