Where Are You? Mixed media on paper 37 x 27 cm
A Pure Life...Haunted Mixed media onpaper 37 x 27 cm
I plan to get the people, who have come along to hear me, to participate in various ways. I won't be monopolising the whole time!
In my preparation for the talk, I have photographed some of my earlier paintings which feature the tree-of-life. So, I thought I'd upload them for you! Also, I have not touched a paint brush for about a week and the painting on the easel is imploring me to get back to it. I have been busy preparing for the Jung talk, writing applications for a couple of things I'd like to participate in and a whole lot of other family 'stuff'.
Where Are You? was a question sent to my maternal grandmother, who died only a couple of months before my eldest daughter was born. My daughter is my grandmother's first great-grandchild and it would have been magnificent if they'd met. You can see the pregnant woman painted in white...that's me! A golden figure seems to fly across the paper like a shooting star....maybe the spirit of my grandmother? She was incredibly interested in cosmology and valiantly tried to teach my brothers and me to identify the constellations in the vast night skies above Dalby. The question Where Are You? could also be directed to my unborn child, at the time of painting this image, still unkown to us. I refused to be told the child's sex, as I wanted that surprise at birth. And, what a lovely one it was too!
There are four distinct trees in the painting Where Are You? When I painted this series of work, the tree was very consciously the tree-of-life, but the difference between now and then [nearly 20 years ago] is that when I painted this series the tree, whilst a symbol of all life, was definitely more about my own personal experience of creating and giving life. I was not really thinking beyond.
A Pure Life... Haunted is another painting from the series I call my 'Birth Series'. Again you can see the pregnant woman and the tree.
So, whilst I was thinking more about my personal 'life' story these paintings got me thinking about the tree-of-life as a potent symbol. I used the tree off and on, over the years, but was not fully aware of its power until I exhibited in Abu Dhabi in 2005. The conversations I had with people from all over the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe were dynamic and very special. The tree-of-life, in my paintings, was the catalyst for these conversations. I realised the tree's trans-cultural and trans-religious capacity provided a space for similarities to be relished, thus making differences seem less different. The tree-of-life is a symbol shared by the three Abrahamaic religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The tree is also evident in the symbolism and ritual of other relgions and cultures across time. The painting below Life's Vibrations was exhibited in Abu Dhabi, and was one of the paintings that saw me and many men and women [and a few children] discuss fears, beliefs and hopes.
Life's Vibrations oil n linen 78 x 107 cm
I am looking forward to talking about my 'journey' with the tree-of-life at the Jung Society meeting next week. I will drawing upon a range of inspirations that intersect with the tree taking it into the world of nano intimacies, the inner depths of human psyche and to vast outer cosmological reaches.