Monday, April 23, 2012


                                                     Last Witness Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm

Last Witness

The red tree, representing the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of- life symbol, stands as the last witness to humankind’s prosaic mutation of the alchemic myth of transformation. At its most profound the myth can be understood as a transformation into transcendence. Humankind’s frantic desire to transform nature’s gifts into commodities, where the most significant value is economic, shatters the alchemic myth’s potential to reveal, and revel in, the many dimensions of the meaning of ‘value’.

In ‘Last Witness’ the top part of the painting is a deliberately ambiguous ‘landscape’. Small brush strokes create a tapestry of colour which could be interpreted as sky, rain, a forest, land and water contours, and more. Towards the bottom half of the painting, these elements are transformed into another ambiguous ‘landscape’ created with small $ signs. When viewed from a distance these $ signs are not discernible, yet they become obvious when viewed up close. I am asking the question ‘Have we noticed?’

There is hope though. The red tree, the last witness to plundering in the name of monetary value and progress, is surrounded by small white dots giving a halo-like, portal-like, seemingly illuminative presence. The tree stands as witness, but also as guide and illuminator to other alternatives. The tree, as the tree-of-life, represents the vigour of life with its vascular like branches and its pulsating red. It beckons us to ask better questions. It provokes us into conversations where new perspectives are illuminated. It reminds us of the beauty we lose if one dimensional interpretations of value erode the fulsome capacities of transformation.



1 comment:

Audubon Ron said...

You sure do light-up a room!