The Anthem image is certainly an offspring of the social and cultural, exploration, and changes of the 60s. Anthem's foundation and roots however, reach back many years before. During the 60s, I was
much less concerned about rebellion and revolution, than with seeking out what peoples had in common and what brought balance, harmony and contentment to our lives. As I saw it, the first step was
to determine what personal changes of understanding and being were needed in order for me to achieve this state within myself. In other words, to expand my mental and emotional space in order to
embrace it all. This attitude, and being unburdened by either gods or demons (I had reached the 'age of reason' relatively young), led to open personal and artistic exploration, and the assimilation
and generation of whatever ideas, imagery, symbolism, and techniques I felt best represented this understanding in its most expansive context.
Anthem was a synthesis of diverse, distant and dissonant ideas, and modes of thinking about and relating to oneself and the world. The image incorporates elements that draw from not only Eastern and
Western art and ideas, but from man's earliest artistic expression as well. For me, Anthem represents a resolution of some of these apparently contradictory elements into a state of balance, harmony
and rhythmic unity. Expressed within a tight symmetrical structure where controlled energy and wildness can not only abide together but complement, intensify and give greater import to each other.
After all, the world is not delineated in just black and white, but is composed of a varied and rich palette of colours. Bill Walker in Anthem: The Walker's Guide.
Here's the original album cover art design.
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