Saturday, July 10, 2010


                                               Finding The Light Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

This is the painting I have been working on for weeks. I uploaded some work-in-progress detail photos in a recent post. Regular readers will notice that I am continuing with ideas I have explored in some recent works on paper. These ideas revolve around my imaginings of what it would be like inside a vortex. So...away from the turmoil of the twisting and turning of the outer vortex to what I imagine is a central core place of stillness and quiet. BUT...not a the kind of stillness and quiet of merely an absence of noise and activity. I imagine a stillness and quiet sentiently replete with an energy that does not express in a manner we are used to.  This energy, I imagine, is the total of all energy from the nano to the universal, thus seemingly immeasurable, but somehow understood. I am also imagining that inside the vortex the collapse of line of sight perspective is complete with a realisation that all perspectives/distances can be experienced simultaneously. Regular readers know that this 'collapse' is something I have written about a number of times.

I have used my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life to envelop the woman positioned inside a vortex. I have tried to depict a sense that the vortex core is an immensity beyond the understanding of the physical world from whence it spiralled into being. I have been reading about the black holes which exist at the centre of spiralling galaxies. Now, these are interesting, but as an artist the more I read the more I imagine what it might be like inside the black hole core of our galaxy and others. Hence I have called this painting 'Finding The Light', because it implies a search which results in discovery. 'Light' can represent knowledge, discovery. It can also represent faith. It can represent the Divine. It can represent finding oneself. Coupled with the tree-of-life/knowledge it can represent LIFE.

I have created the 'light' with the small dots which cascade over the woman inside the vortex. This 'light' spills into the trees like veins pulsing through life's membranes.

So, whilst this painting is a depiction of what I imagine it to be like inside a vortex, the vortex does not need to be an external phenomena. The concept of a vortex within us, within our psyche when we seem to be spiralling with emotional and psychological issues is also interesting. This psychological place of emotional turmoil where we seem to be swept away in a spiralling cacophone can be stripped away to find the core where sabotaging subconscious beliefs can be irradicated with stillness.

I like the way the red lines of the vortex and the trees literally remind us of the flow of blood within our bodies. This corporeality is, in a sense, mirrored in the outer physical world. But, does it hint at the substance and system of worlds yet unknown?

In 'Finding The Light' I wanted to play with the tree-of-life/knowledge, so I deliberately painted upside down trees 'growing' from trees that are upright. For me, this symbolises balance. It also helped me find a way to suggest that the space inside the vortex is immeasurable. The yellow and red 'leaves' fall from their trees, the yellow upwards and the red downwards. Falling leaves suggest a renewal and in this painting simultaneous connections with Earth and Heaven, with all perspectives and distances.

I could write more, but I will leave it up to you now... to imagine.

Here are some links to other galaxial, stillness type posts!

Here is a link to 'Becoming' which is another painting of a female figure and trees. This painting sold in my recent exhibition 'Frisson'.

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