Stephen Ellcock: The Cosmic Dance
Finding Patterns and Pathways in a Chaotic Universe
Thames & Hudson, 2022
A visual journey from the minute to the infinite, exploring the relationships and harmonies between all parts of the universe and inspiring personal contemplation regarding our place within it.
In The Cosmic Dance, renowned image alchemist Stephen Ellcock presents a panglobal collection of remarkable, arresting, and surprising images drawn from the entire history of art to explore the ancient belief that the cosmos is reflected in all living things. Organized thematically, the visual journey begins with the microscopic, the particulate and the elemental; then explores the human body as a cosmos in miniature, the beauty of divine proportions and our search for spiritual enlightenment; before finally reveling in the colossal, the celestial, and the infinite.
An eloquent introduction provides an overview of the central themes and expert commentaries introduce each section. Detailed captions accompanying select images provide bitesize information on key concepts—from the golden ratio to the Tree of Life and the body politic— while thought-provoking quotations and poems interspersed throughout the artworks prompt a closer, more personal engagement with the images.
This stunning treasury of artworks provides the perfect guide to a deeper contemplation of the world around us, allowing readers, in the words of William Blake, to “see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”