Monday, June 28, 2010


                                         Listening To The Stillness Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed

I have previously, in recent posts, written about my interest in the concept of the vortex and the stillness I imagine to be found in the centre or core of the vortex. In the stillness I imagine a quietness which allows you to listen to yourself, your thoughts and reflections, your heartbeat and breath. The imploring hysteria held within the twirling and whirling of the outer vortex fades away to leave a place where listening can be really experienced...a listening to life from within yourself, and a listening to the space and energy of the Universe. I imagine the vortex core to be a space of unfathomable immensity and also intimacy. This paradox is completely imaginable if notions of lines of sight and traditional perspective are abandoned.

I have written before about my thoughts on perspective and the need for us in the 21st century, where we live locally in a globalised world, to develop skills in 'seeing' multiple perspectives simultaneously. Indeed, another word may need to be created to describe the collapse of perspective.

But back to the vortex core. The painting above, and those in other recent posts, are my visual explorations of being inside the vortex. I imagine an attraction to, and an emmanation from, the vortex representing a natural and consistent flow of life and love. The hysteric twirling and whirling of the outer vortex strips life and love to the point where they are confused with such human derailments as jealousy, materialism, neediness, martyrdon etc.

The image above is a close up of an oil painting I am currently working on. It is my first oil painting focusing on my vortex ideas. As you can see my much loved tree-of-life has a dominant part to play in the visual story. [regular readers of this blog will not be surprised!] As in my recent works on paper, the tree-of-life/knowledge is connected to the inner core of the vortex like a sustaining vascular system, suggesting that once stillness is listened to, our lives expand beyond the reaches of the hysteric turmoil existing in the noisy outer world.

Please have a look at this website 'coal4breakfast'. It has been set up by a group of farmers who live near or along a road called Haystack Rd, on the Darling Downs west of Dalby, Queensland, Australia. I grew up on my parent's farm not far away from this place. The soils surrounding Dalby are some of the most fertile soils in the southern hemisphere, thus representing major food producing capacity. However, there are minerals under the ground, mainly coal. Mining is threatening the sustainability of the fertile food producing soils of the area. There is no gurantee that lands can be rejuvenated and restored. For me, the risk is too high, because it is a risk that will influence future generations. These soils can produce food for 1000s of years, yet a mine's life is vastly shorter.



Audubon Ron said...

Love the painting and the wheat crop photo essay. You're just a "down-home" country girl. :)

josabrim said...

The painting is gorgeous Kathryn. Just in love with your work at the moment. Looking forward to seeing more.