Religious and spiritual symbolism in imagery goes as far back as when people first started scratching into any surface. It’s something inside our human psyche that wants to understand the world around us and give everything a meaning or purpose. It is with this curiosity to have faith in something which makes us feel part of something divine.  This has led to the symbolic imagery we can now see today.

To break down the entire history of religious and spiritual imagery in art in a few short paragraphs might be a bridge too far so instead I’ll just focus on ‘Turquoise Neon Angel’ by Darren West and how amazing this work of art is for many different reasons.

In regard to the subject of faith, what I personally find so intriguing about this work of art is the sense of freedom the angel is projecting from the image. The 3D angel sculpture with her glorious white wings is leaping out of the artwork, backed with the beautiful glow of a turquoise neon crucifix. Although it is subtle, the combination of skulls, gambling, sex, drugs and suicide swirling in a dream like cloud behind the angel, allows the viewer to interpret in their own way its meaning. Could it mean that having faith in something one wishes to reach love and light through will ultimately pull them out of the darkness in their lives? Or maybe the angel is the symbol of protection to those who have lost their way and God is still there for them? Is it to recognise the beauty in all beings, especially those that are stranded in a lonely existence in a confusing world? Maybe its meaning depicts the battle of faith and love over selfishness within our souls?

Whatever its meaning, this work of art is totally stunning and almost feels alive.  It’s like there is a soul within the piece itself. Not only is it fantastic from a philosophical perspective, this work of art is technically outstanding and very pleasing to the eye.

Darren West is one of only a handful of neon artists left in the world that works with the traditional hand-blown neon methods. The training for Darren to become a neon artist was a five-year apprenticeship, his teacher the world-renowned neon artist Chris Bracey (God’s Own Junkyard).

This is a work of art that draws people and allows them to get lost in the work. Its dreamlike quality and overall feel has a positive effect on those who see it. The angel is calling you to connect with her.

For this and more work from Darren West please visit the gallery and check out this link:

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