Behind The Artworks: Ba'al - Soft Eyes (2024)

The artwork was actually designed by myself (Nick, guitar). I created the image by heavily manipulating a photograph I took of a statue near my house, a statue of the deity known as Pan. There’s a degree of innocence to the way he is depicted in the sculpture, a childlike figure with wide yet vulnerable eyes and a hopeful expression. After editing the photo I played around with various marker pens and paints, highlighting various angles of the face until I decided to focus on the eyes. The ‘tears’ originally were meant to simply outline the eyes and draw attention to the shape of the face and weren’t intended to be tears at all, until I realised that they made an effective symbol for empathy and grief. I thought about how the god of nature would view the damage we humans cause to our fellow humans and the natural world. I think he would surely be aghast at our callous disregard.

The concept behind the name “Soft Eyes” comes from the act of examining a crime scene with a degree of compassion and empathy, to understand the why and the how, not just the what. Much of the EP concerns the idea of vulnerability and the desire, or lack thereof, for understanding. The world is fragile, and it is a frightfully complex yet beautiful place. The same can be said for humanity, for all our similarities it’s startling to realise just how little we understand and accept each other, be it through ignorance, contempt, or both. As time marches on we learn more and more about our species, about our societies, cultures, and conditions, yet our divisions remain, why? And to what end? The world is a seemingly endless cycle of crime scenes, and it’s only through trying to understand and empathise with one another that we may hope to save it.

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