Friday, August 13, 2010


Hovering At The Centre Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm

This painting above is a small 30 x 30 cm work. It was inspired by thoughts of vortexes, stillness, possibility and the potency of the archetypal tree-of-life symbol. I am reading another book by the Lord Astonomer, Martin Rees. This book 'Just Six Numbers' is entirely layperson readable, just like his book 'Our Final Century', which I have written about previously.

Well, a few things have got me excited. One is that prior to reading 'Just Six Numbers' I was pondering the phenomena of the vortex, literally as well as metaphorically. Regular readers will have read some of my 'vortex' posts. Rees writes about spirals and vortexes in cosmology eg: galaxies. Another source of excitement is Rees's chapter 'Primordial 'Ripples'. I was reading in bed a few nights ago, with my eyes falling out of their sockets due to tiredness, and I started to read the chapter and laughed.  It transfixed me, because prior to reading all about primoridal ripples, I painted 'Cosmic Frisson', which was inspired by ideas of ripples. I even called a recent post 'Ripples'.

So, back the painting above...Hovering At The Centre. I wanted to leave some space, because so many of my paintings are full of vast textures which only suggest space as a dimension beyond the surface. I wanted to create an image that included a sense of empty space, simultaneously vast and minute, like a portal or a vortex/spiral core. I wanted to create a sense of finding stillness, a place of possibility, alluding to a complexity that, whilst not understood can be sentiently felt, thus asking us to have faith.

At one level Hovering At The Centre is inspired by Rees's words, 'Most galaxies harbour a central hole as massive as millions of stars.' These central holes are 'black holes'. They defy explanation, but are discernible by scrutinising external forces such as gravity and light. But, this is where an artist's imagination is triggered. For me, my painting portrays a sense of life surrounding the 'black hole'. This is indicated by the tree-of-life motif, which suggests celestial systems finely balanced to stimulate the continuing expansion of the Universe. The tree-of-life is also gravity which stops the Universe imploding into black holes and perhaps surrending existence.

In Hovering At The Centre the circle or hole is like a portal, embraced securely by the tree-of-life. So, entering the portal may not be too bad, because it might be like being inside a big hug [worse case...a crushing hug!]! Portals are metaphors for choice, other dimensions, crossorads in life. Portals, do not have templates to follow, otherwise they'd not be portals, but merely glass doors through which we could see. Portals are not understood by criteria or agendas. If we ascribed these things to portals we limit ourselves and the potential opportunities offered by the unknown. Portals compel us to dream and imagine, and criteria and agendas are not good bedfellows.

Here is a link to another painting where I 'speak' about portals. The painting is called 'AH HAs' and sold at my exhibition FRISSON in March.


My painting 'Halo' is one of  the 70 finalists for the 2010 Tattersall's $20,000 Art Prize, Brisbane. This year the prize is by invitation, so I am very excited to have been chosen as one of the exhibiting artists. The exhibition opens Wednesday 8 September.

On October 8 a rather interesting curated exhibition BAware will open at St. John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane. The exhibition is themed to the Millenium Goals to raise awarenss of gloabl issues of social justice, poverty and sustainability. I will have between 3 and 5 paintings in this exhibition. I will post updates over the next weeks leading up to the exhibition.

Until next time,


Audubon Ron said...


See this is one of those works that are two works in one for me. I had to blow this up as big as I could and thanks for the extra pixels. When viewing it far away, lets say 10 paces, the center has a cloudy texture that appears to be moving along right to left like clouds moving across the sky, then up close, one pace, it has blue wash canvas texture stillness and is like dark matter between blinking universes. (Dark matter - You know, that stuff we can’t see in between the stuff we can?) You may read about it in your book, it’s the stuff that fills the empty space but is not affected by the gravity of a black hole but rather it kind of gets splashed into the cosmos when two things, like two universes collide.

Cosmology and your work fit nicely, hand and glove.

Yes, this was a treat; I kept toggling back and forth, near/far.


Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

Ron, You totally get it! I am so excited that you move back and forth from my work. That's exactly what I'd like to inspire people to do. Yes, at a distance there is one image, but up close there is another, albeit the same.

I've been reading about dark matter. Very tricky it is too...and not affected by gravity. I am glad you can see so much more in the painting than initially meets the eye.