Tuesday, March 09, 2010


                                            Hope In The Distance Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2010 SOLD

This painting is the one I wrote about in a recent post. I was still working on the painting at the time, but I shared my inspiration, which travelled from rain in the distance, to hope, to literal and metaphoric horizons. Here's what I wrote:

I am working on a painting at the moment and my ideas have revolved around issues of water and rain, plus what they represent at emotional and even spiritual levels. Regular readers will know that water is of great interest to me and that it has been a sub theme within my broader interests in perspective, distance and the space between the micro/local and macro/global. Overarching all of this is my compulsion to explore the potential of archetypes to perhaps reveal universal connections that mean something to us in the 21st century.This new painting which I am currently working on, is essentially about hope. I am calling it 'Hope In The Distance' because it is, at first glance, a painting of strips of rain on the horizon.

When I lived in Western Queensland, strips of rain would appear on distant horizons, often cruelly tantalising us with the potential for much needed rain. But, horizons, as metaphors for our lives cascade into so much possibility, because as I have written before, horizons can be both close and far. Our eyes, of eye ball and pupil, see horizons as existing in the far distance, but our eyes trick us, because we are essentially always present upon horizons which exist at all universal and nano distances around us. Our mind's eye can 'see' these multitudinous horizons so much clearer than our eye of eye ball and pupil, especially if we discard one dimensional and simple notions of distance and perspective.

I am reminded of a quote I used in my artist's statement for my show 'Distance' in London in 2002. The quote is from Walter Benjamin's Illuminations where he describes aura as, the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be. The word 'aura' has new age connotations, but I think, whether we know it or not, we are all searching for an experience and an understanding of aura. Maybe this is the unviversal search and that at each era, the agelessness of archetypal symbols offer clues to a discovery or a depended understanding of aura. We just have to keep investigating their potential. I think the investigation may require us to rely more on our mind's eye rather than always relying on our eye of eye ball and pupil...the two need to work together questioning everything.

My thoughts about multitudinous horizons have given me glimpses of the phenomenon of aura! These glimpses slip away as I try to grasp an understanding, but my hope is that as I discard old ways of 'seeing' I might come to a fuller experience of aura. Indeed, as we live locally in an increasingly globalised world, we are all actually forced to collapse notions of distant horizons, as we experience contemporary life. I suppose the hope is that the experience is understood as being potentially transforming in a positive way for all humanity.
'Hope In The Distance' Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
The tree-of-life creates a land formation which seems like a mountain or a hill in the foreground. The branches of the tree suggest underground systems of water, minerals, roots, animal burrows etc. The five strips of rain fall from a potent sky of red and blue. These strips of rain represent hope, hope of sustenance. As an aside, the current floods 'out west' will provide deep subsoil sustenance and replenishment of underground aquifers for some time, but the devastation of homes, infrastucture and livestock is brutal.

Yet, this painting got me thinking about things beyond rain, drought and floods. It got me thinking about connections. The strips of rain are like conduits connecting earth and sky, body and soul, mind and God. The tree-of-life transcends the material, by imposing its true potential, which is the fullness of life...of humanity. In this way the immediate suggested horizon vanishes, because humanity encompasses past, present and future. All three of these time phases are horizons in a sense, but when experienced simultaneously horizons disappear, perspective evaporates and distance has no meaning.

FRISSON Solo exhibition
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthry Rd, New Farm, Brisbane
EXHIBITION DATES: 16-28 March [***From 1pm-6pm Tuesday 16]
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 18 March 5.30-8 pm
Gallery is open daily 10 am -6pm ***

I went to the inaugural TEDx Brisbane on Saturday 6 March http://www.tedxbrisbane.com/ It was really great and certainly generated some ideas worth spreading.

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