In his trials to tie both artistic prose and poetry with art, Tom Phillips uses W.H Mallock’s Victorian novel as his torn apart and paged canvas for A Humament. By shaping his images around the text, Phillips’ text is highlighted by erasing other words and/or faded throughout the many collected prose and poems of the original novel. In this way, the meaning is also italicized to show not only importance but also another story and a different text within the orbs of the original, such as in Page 50 of Phillips’ A Humament. Through his artistic choice of highlighted text, the reader is able to see and comprehend an alternate view of the limited words and repeating green and yellow shaded orbs of what is the “revolution”
The different hues and shades of both the lime green and yellow greens suggest a slow moving evolution between the six circles in Phillips’ painting, though all the masses inside seem to be moving languidly towards each other in a cyclical movement. Suggesting at the time span of movement, the reader gets an idea of another time span, “ten hours;” which is cast aside outside the orbs of evolution, and centered and boxed around faded text that the reader cannot see, focusing the eye on “ten hours;”. By separating the two, the way the semicolon separates the two interdependent statements, the “political revolution” is outside the evolution illusion and this separation gives a sense of those ten hours between the circles, the evolution and “revolution”.
Phillips’ title of his human documents, A Humament, appropriately addressed this evolution of words as well, as the words “human” and document” are meshed together in a slow and languid way. The stale connotation to “document” gives off the sense of a yellowed parchment paper color as well as “human” which can be associated with a green of growth and life. The orbs that, in an alternate view, resemble different worlds also seem to coincide with one another as the “ten hours;” move along together, shifting shades and position, though the text remains outside. Phillips uses these orbs to also suggest at the symbolism of each circle as a “band”.
As each “band” moves into the other, it provides a sense of not only an evolution, but also each orb symbolizes an embryonic revolution as the “bands play”. Each band holds a center that plays into the other that is separated from the idea of time and ended off from the “political revolution”. Within their orbs, the “bands play” and until it comes to its origin, the evolution is cyclical, and “It is a political evolution,”. Such bands also exemplify the obvious connotation of music, which is a moving matter in itself. Phillips, in this way, uses the lime greens and yellows to suggest at the different but harmonizing musical notes. Such different and yet alike notes are a “political evolution” in this alternate view.
These orbs also suggest at the slow moving evolution to Phillips’ poetic statement which is ultimately “It is a political revolution”. By setting it in a tone of other faded texts, the revolution most clearly portrays a change, though also a slow one. The shades of green provide not only a symbol of growth but Phillip also suggests at the innocent naiveness of his “political revolution” that the “bands play” and provide which, alternately, the hidden text fails to explain. The meaning is caught between the masses inside the orbs of Phillips’ painting just as green is caught between blue and yellow on the color spectrum. In an alternate thought, Phillip suggests that such a “political revolution” is cast outside of this entrapment that both the mass and colors are caught in.
Independently, “revolution” and “evolution” serve as a pun to Phillips’ green poetic statement. The prefix re- refers to the cyclical and repeating movement of the circles in the painting and their meanings. His text is also surrounded by ongoing punctuation “ten hours;” and political revolution,” which gives the reader a sense of repeating movement that is highlighted and shaded throughout the orbs in the painting, though the text is cast around such evolution as a “political revolution”.
Phillips’ last punctuation leaves his poetic work that is combined with art to be continued and flowing such as the art itself. The pods within each orb or world continue to change forms and shades as well but are all “At last--welcome!” in Phillips’ “political revolution” that the pods or “bands play”. In this alternate view of W.H. Mallock’s Victorian novel, Phillips’ provide many alternate views using artistic puns on texts, growing shades of green and stale yellows in his human documents that are reworked in A Humament.