Sunday, April 28, 2013


Are We There Yet? Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm
On long trips young children are inclined to ask, 'Are we there yet?' more than once or twice! Indeed, my own children, on long drives to and from Goondiwindi*, were inclined to ask this question a lot. One daughter more so than the other two. She did not like to sit still for very long. She'd start asking within minutes of leaving on a four to five hour drive!
I remember asking the same question of my parents too. Like my daughter I did not like to sit still for long periods of time. That was back in the days when time seemed to travel so, so, so slowly...when a half hour math class seemed an excrutiating eternity and a whole year was beyond that!
Photos of me [aged about 6] and my brother Wilfred in the back seat of our car. From memory a trip to Brisbane from our home at Dalby to visit our grandparents. In the 1960s this took about 4 or slightly more eternity! You can tell Wilfred is a lot happier than me! In fact he looks quite mischievous. 
But, the question Are we there yet? has a much wider amplification into various human endeavours and activities, from literal travel to individual self improvement and beyond to 'enlightenment' and spirituality. The question implies a destination, whether it is a geographical location or a hoped-for outcome or a state of being or a spiritual 'place' [literal or within the psyche]. But, does it also perhaps imply an inability to make the most of the present? I remember distracting my impatient daughter by drawing her attention to all sorts of things, from grazing cattle and horses, kangaroos hopping beside the road, pretty clouds wafting across the sky. She would spend a few minutes watching and thinking, before again asking...'Are we there yet?'
* Goondiwindi is a small rural town on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.
So, to my painting Are We There Yet?.  I wanted to create an ambiguous landscape...and regular readers know this is something I like to do. I wanted a sense of flying, as if the viewer has reached the outer edge of a planet....which could be Earth, but maybe it is not? Hence my title...Are We There Yet?...suggests that perhaps we have travelled to another planet...perhaps in those round blue balls? Maybe we have just left Earth for a very long trip and this painting is the last fly-by? Or, maybe the landscape is a metaphor for our internal 'landscapes' of psyche or soul?
I thought about this painting after reading various articles, including a very recent one in National Geographic Most Earthlike Planets Found Yet: A "Breakthrough", about discoveries of planets that, maybe... just maybe, could be like Earth. There are a couple of implications stemming from the suggestion that these planets may support life. One is that they already have life in some form and the other implication is that humanity could find another 'home' on these newly discovered planets. Each of these implications have a myriad of others!
In the event of Earth's destruction, possibly orchestrated by aberrant individuals or groups, or as a result of our sun's slow and increasingly heat fuelled demise, or a wayward meteor causing nighmarish destruction of our life sustaining environment or indeed humanity's destruction of our life sustaining environment, we [humanity] may need a new home. Imagine remnants of humanity travelling on space craft to planets, possibly 1000s of light years away. New life would be born during the trip to the promised land. Imagine how many would be asking 'Are we there yet?' or 'When will we get there?' But, maybe scientists will send a special mix of human DNA, which upon some pre-determined trigger, forms into humans? But, who would ask the very human question 'Are we there yet?'

Indeed, as we seek to know more about our Universal environment, I think there is perhaps an equally vast internal one to explore as well.
As I look out my office window, it all seems so fanciful and impossible. It is a perfect Brisbane autumn day. The sky is a gorgeous blue and the sun settles softly on leaves and flowers. Birds are chirping and a soft breeze gantly drifts through my window tickling my cheeks.  Yep, I've just returned to the present after travelling in my imagination to distant futures and celestial destinations!
You will notice the small blue reference to the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. As regular readers know, it is a dominant visual guide in my work. I like it because it offers wisdom. I love t because it symbolises life across eons of time, cultures and religions.
A recent related post and painting is ON MY TRAVELS I SAW
  •  COSMIC OUROBOROS is the most visited post on my BLOG
  • Since my lucky experience with social networking working at its best ...when Deepak Chopra retweeted Nancy Ellen Abrams tweet about my painting and post COSMIC is now the 6th most popular post on my BLOG...even though it was only written in March this year! Very grateful. You can follow me on TWITTER HERE
  • COSMIC ADDRESS is the title for my next exhibition  15-10-13 to 27-10-13 at Graydon Gallery, Brisbane. I am really excited about this show.
  • My last post LET THERE BE LIGHT is a small online exhibition of selected 'light' inspired paintings. I link them back to my website where other details, including pricing, are listed.

Until next time,

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