Transcendence - Abstract Symbolism Art

Transcendence is an abstract drawing I completed a couple years ago. It has several types of imagery and symbolism combined into one comp...

Transcendence is an abstract drawing I completed a couple years ago. It has several types of imagery and symbolism combined into one composition, all interlaced to imply the underlying theme of transcendence.

Transcendence means to expand on one’s limits, or to go beyond what one is capable of.

For this artwork, it means to rising above a particular situation.

There are several symbolic images in this abstract graphite drawing, and I will explore each separately.

Symbolism in “Transcendence” Abstract Drawing

  • A moose antler

    This is something that is discarded, or left behind. The moose is a common animal in Newfoundland. Each year, the males grow huge majestic antlers with points, but these are eventually shed.

    New antlers grow in their place.

  • A Broken Heart

    A heart broken in pieces resides in the bottom left corner. The pieces are separated, and unmendable.

    They are of no use anymore, and are discarded.

  • The rainbow

    A rainbow is a symbol of hope and salvation.

    Rainbows often appear after a storm, and bring hope of a better, brighter day.

  • A “new heart”

    The rainbow wraps around this, and holds it, as if coming to the rescue.

  • A spiral form

    The spiral inside the heart represents growth, life, and change.



Graphite Drawing on Bristol Paper
9” by 12”
By Graham Matthews

As one can see from my explanation of the symbols in this abstract drawing, there is a story being told here. That story involves a broken heart, caused by an unbearable loss. It is also one of transcending that loss, and rising above it, in a newness of life.

I believe that in every unbearable situation, there is always a way out – there is always hope.

Devastating life changing events can change our perceptions of everything around us. At these moments, we are the most vulnerable.

This is when we need a helping hand.



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Graham Matthews: Transcendence - Abstract Symbolism Art
Transcendence - Abstract Symbolism Art
Graham Matthews
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