I have included parts of classical buildings in my drawings as a marker of what they have to say about both spirituality and permanence. A column, or a bust is an indication that recalls ancient Rome, or Greece. These ancient societies are very much in our thoughts 2000 years later reflecting both their buildings longevity and the permanence of many of their spiritual ideas. In these ancient times it was common and accepted to connect to dreams and visions, just as it was to connect with the spirit of one’s ancestors.

In that day all ancestors were thought of as divine, or godlike. They were very real for their survivors, and were very much alive in their afterlife. It was really one’s ancestors who were the actual proprietors and guardians of the land one lived on. It was important for the relatives to keep their dead ancestors happy through celebrations and meals with them at the grave site. Tubes were dug down to the grave to physically be able to share meals with them.

The idea of an oracle - The Oracle of Delphi for example – is a comforting thought for me. Instead of our modern ”silence of God” concept, there was rather a transparency between our world and the realm of the gods, the dead and the afterlife. There was the possibility of asking a question of the gods, and this is the best part, of getting an answer from the gods in return.

In my pictures I am thinking of my own ancestors as possible oracles for me personally. In them I am returning to their haunts and finding remnants of their life still present. Local elements of a fishing boat, the mountains of Namdalen, the sea and boat house create surprise and excitement when a classical bust, or a herm from classical Greece, or Rome is juxtaposed in a modern local setting. This juxtaposition implies an unexpected, but ongoing conversation between past and present taking place.

Bruce Jon Hamnes