The role of the artist in contemporary society as compared to pre-Christian and early Medieval society in Northern Europe
By Peter R. Hupfauf
Paper given at the 11th International Saga Conference (2000)
Introduction: When I was about thirteen or fourteen years old, like many kids at that age, I puzzled over the one and many secrets of the world. One particular question kept me intrigued: how is it possible to depict a circle, as viewed from the side. Logically this shape would show up only as a straight line. However, I was never quite satisfied with this solution because the straight line to me did not represent two fundamental elements of the circle: The first being the idea of movement and the second the notion of infinity, both being suggested through the absence of beginning and end.
In my quest to find an answer, in which my parents and teachers could not assist, I consulted a friend of our family who was a commercial artist. I admired this gentleman’s artistic skills tremendously. After a brief explanation of my problem he easily came up with an answer: he quickly drew a sketch, adding some body to the profile of the circle. This allowed him to shade the object in. The result was an image, representing a perfect disk, seen from its narrow side – the profile.