Sunday, May 05, 2013


Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm

So...I was thinking about hope.
Regular readers will know I have written about hope before [links below].  I again have been thinking about hope, for a number of reasons, but also in reference to my last painting and post Are We There Yet? The question implies a future destination, whether it be a literal place or a state of being. Is there hope implied in the question too? The more excited we are about a destination, the more likely we are to ask, especially repeatedly... 'Are we there yet?'... don't you think? If the destination is not a good one, then the question implies the hope that we don't get there!
I was going to call this painting Hope Springs Eternal, from Alexander Pope's long Essay On Man It is a short phrase from Epistle 1. In the end I decided on deceptively simple Hope
Hope humbly, then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, He gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
I think Pope's poetry implies a future, even if it is death. But, that death is not the end of the soul...'life' Hope springs eternal...
As regular readers know, I sometimes think about apocalyptic futures: the demise of humanity and/or the planet at the hands of aberrant individuals or groups, or by 'natural' means such as wayward meteors slamming into Earth, or the 'natural' death of the sun and Earth's slow destruction.
I know, I know...all of this does not sound too hopeful!
Out of the gloom hope raises its new shoots. For instance, hope drives much of science and philosophy...otherwise why would scientists and philosophers continue to ask questions? They hope for answers...and then...even more questions. Hope lives, even in the face of apocalypse! Hope is part of human complexity, and it is this complexity that gives hope for the future. 
Pope wrote the first Epistle of the Essay On Man in the context Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to the Universe. In the 18th century humankind's understanding of the Universe was different to the understanding we have now. Yet, through the arts humanity attempts to vision its current understanding at the same time as posing questions...similarly to scientists and philosophers.
 He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied being peoples every star,
So, where does my painting Hope fit into all of this?
When I imagined this painting I wanted a kind of post-apocalyptic 'landscape', as if remnants of Earth have been scattered across the galaxy. I wanted to suggest that these remnants could be metaphoric 'landscapes' of the human soul and imagination.
In the painting I have nine remnants of 'landscape', with one obviously issuing forth new life. Yes, my tree...the tree-of-life, the tree-of-knowledge lives on in a post apocalyptic 'landscape'! With life and knowledge there is hope...and with hope there is life and knowledge.
The 'landscape' remnant from which the tree erupts, is painted in slighty different colours compared with the other remnants. Its predominantly blue colour was chosen on purpose, to represent water a symbol of the subconscious, I imagine, more closely linked to soul. Water is also the 'blood' of life, the nurturer of growth, the essence of body. A few of the other 'landscape' remnants have glimpses of green, a colour that teases us with the potential for life, growth and renewal. Maybe, on these remnants, there are small shoots of life [trees] too small for us to see...yet? Hope!
I also liked the idea of 'landscape' remnants, because it helps untether concepts of landscape from being Earth bound, forcing new literal and metaphoric perspectives which, in turn, give rise to new 'landscapes'. I've previously written about some of my untethering landscape ideas.
Below is a photo of one of my initial sketches for Hope. Just thought you might like to see my very cursory sketch. I often do these kind of quick sketches to help my mind's eye take control of  the paint brush. My children's old and unused school pads come in handy.
Sketch for Hope
  • The Art News is a dynamic website featuring an array of article, reviews and news about visual art in Australia. Each Friday they have what's called 'New Work Friday' and three of my recent paintings were selected for last Friday's 'New Work'. Check 'New Work Friday' out by clicking 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. Shall keep you posted!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting view KATHRYN, soul your ART very colourful . Science I perceive as a part of hope is the human race.? Focus on that which is positive light yes negative always where light is balance of the whole. So really appreciate the graph of Hope as bright and your perception. enjoy thank you