Sunday, April 28, 2013

ARE WE THERE YET?

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 hours...an 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.
 
 
ARE WE THERE YET? OIL ON LINEN 80 x 140 cm
 
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 tree...my 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
 
 
BITS AND PIECES
  •  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 ADDRESS...it 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,
Kathryn
 

Monday, April 22, 2013

LET THERE BE LIGHT-Small Online Exhibition.

 Halo Oil on linen 82 x 183 cm 2009
 
I am working on a new painting. In the meantime I thought I'd 'curate' an online exhibition of a few of my paintings which 'speak' of light...in all its literal and metaphoric ways.
 
HALO
 
Halo [above] is a painting I have written about a few times. I'll admit to being very fond of this painting. The image of Earth with a 'halo' of atmosphere surrounding it has a few stories attached to it. I painted this on the 25th anniversary of my cousin Dr. Bill From's death on Mt Everest. He was killed when he slipped on an icey patch as he and his climbing mates were descending. More of the details are HERE. Funny thing is, when I painted Halo I was thinking about Bill, but I did not realise it was the month of the anniversairy or his birthday, until I googled his name to see if there was any online news about the attempt to climb Mt Everest.
 
Bill had just completed hi PhD [UQ] in ionospheric physics. He was literally studying Earth's atmosphere.
 
This painting is currently hanging in my lounge room and I love it.
 
 
 
 The Colour Of Knowledge Oil on linen 62 x 82 cm 2009
 
 
THE COLOUR OF KNOWLEDGE
 
The Colour Of Knowledge is another of my favourite pieces [I have lots!] If you want to read more please click HERE.
 
Briefly, the figures of Adam and Eve are central to the visual story. As Eve takes from the tree-of-knowledge antimonies enter the world giving rise to knowledge in the spaces between [eg: good and evil]. Knowedge is illuminatory and revelatory. In this painting knowledge is represented by the colour that cascades from the white light of Adam and Eve's existence prior to Eve taking from the tree-of-knowledge ie: when they could not see their differences. 
 
 
 

 Finding The Light Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2010
 
 
FINDING THE LIGHT
 
Here's a quote from my earlier post for this painting:
I have called this painting 'Finding The Light', because it implies a search which results in discovery. 'Light' can represent knowledge, discovery. It can also represent faith. It can represent the Divine. It can represent finding oneself. Coupled with the tree-of-life/knowledge it can represent LIFE.

I have created the 'light' with the small dots which cascade over the woman inside the vortex. This 'light' spills into the trees like veins pulsing through life's membranes.
 
Finding The Light is currently hanging in my guest bedroom and it looks great. There are windows on each side, the walls are painted a soft yellow...and every time I walk past the room and look in, I feel good!
 
 

Becoming The Light oil on linen 160 x120 cm 2012
 
 
BECOMING THE LIGHT
 
Every time I look at this painting I am surprised. Why? Because, it glimmers! A photo does not capture the glimmer and that's a shame. However, I do think that surprising paintings will never reveal their secrets in a photo...otherwise the photo would be the work of art!
 
The female figure, enclosed within a vortex, shimmers with light. As she relishes the peace at the quiet core of the vortex she is ready for illumination. As regular readers will notice my  transcultural/religious tree-of-life plays an important part in the matrix. Its pattern repeats across the painting, revealing energy forces and dynamics which propel and nurture.
 


 Seeking The Light Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm 2012
 
SEEKING THE LIGHT
 
I wrote in an earlier post,  the female figure, representing Mother Nature, seems to attract light. Her arms and feet erupt with vascular-like trees connecting her to whatever energy it is that propels life.
 
This small painting is hanging in a nook in my lounge room. Like the others above, whenever I look at it or it catches my eye, I feel a need to keep looking. It does really 'light up' the nook where it hangs. It seems to move, and as the light of day changes, it changes.
 
 

 The Quiet Fierceness of Light Oil on linen 90 x 180 cm 2012
 
 
QUIET FIERCENESS OF LIGHT

I did have this painting hanging above my dining room table, but it has SOLD. So, it now hangs in a lovely new place. And, it looks great too.

I wrote in an earlier post, In 'Quiet Fierceness of Light' a figure of a woman reaches across the canvas, as if she is straddling the depths of time. A flame of light provides a force which seems to propel her. But she garners this light in the spaces between the branches of the trees which erupt from her arms and legs.

and

The light in 'Quiet Fierceness of Light' is more about the light of knowledge...of ourselves, others and the universe. It is with and through knowledge that we shed light across the pathways of life. The light imbues us with wonder as it calls forth both beckoning and shining the way. Light that beckons is where we find challenge, drawing us towards it. If we are game we meet its glow.

There is more to 'Quiet Fierceness of Light', but I'll leave that to you, the viewer. I leave you to travel your own journey with light!



 The Birth Of Knowledge and Faith Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm
 
 
 THE BIRTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND FAITH
 
This is may artist's statement for the 2012 Mandorla Art Prize, perth, Australia: This painting was selected as one of the finalists.
 
Two transcultural/religious trees-of-life/knowledge emanate from a woman’s outstretched arms and feet. She is the ‘sacred feminine’. In forming a circle she ‘sings’ and ‘dances’ her elemental grace of life continuance. More specifically I was thinking of two biblical women, one from the Old Testament and one from the New, Eve and Mary.

As Eve took from the tree she gave ‘birth’ to Knowledge in the spaces between antimonies. As Mother Mary gave birth to Jesus, the ‘Light of the World’, she also gave birth to Faith.
I imagine that as Eve took from the tree, the world cascaded into the colours and hues that allowed Adam and Eve to ‘see’ each other. I ‘see’ colour as representing Knowledge. In this painting the multi coloured trees and the ‘sacred feminine’ figure are surrounded by halo-like white light. The two trees also meet in a pulse of white. This white light represents Faith.

 
Until next time:
Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com


Sunday, April 14, 2013

LANDSCAPE OF EVERYTHING

Landscape of Everything Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm
 
Calling a painting Landscape of Everything is either brave or ludicrous. I can live with both!
 
 
SO MANY THOUGHTS
 
When I was painting this image I had many many different thoughts going through my head, cascading in and out, provoking panic, excitement, fear, wariness, joy and more. There were so many thoughts that when I came to give the painting a title, nothing seemed adequate, until I came up with Landscape of Everything.
 
So, what were the thoughts going through my head? Well...here we go.
 
I wanted a cosmic appearance, but an ambiguous one in terms of perspective, orientation, place, and consciousness. The viewer can variously see many things...well that's the plan! Are you looking from a space ship back at the Earth? If so, which coloured ball is Earth? Are you on Earth looking out to space? Or are you peering into something much smaller? Or is the image a play on imagination, dreams? Maybe it is a 'landscape' of the subconsious, that place where dreams are conjured?
 
Maybe the painting dances with imagination and postulation? Indeed, at one stage I imagined each  of the balls being other universes. The concept that we live in a multiverse is really very exciting. I've written about this before in a post called MULTIVERSE and in another called MULTIVERSE POSSIBILITIES  Whilst modern cosmologists postulate about a multiverse, the idea provides wonderful metaphoric possibilities for individual human psyches, plus the whole of humanity's psyche/collective [sub]consciousness. Maybe the painting is a 'landscape' of humanity's psyche, a promise of a far more multi faceted dimension and fate than we have ever dreamed?

Landscape of Everything also relates to my previous post and painting On My Travels I Saw
 
Now for a bit of fun....maybe the coloured balls in Landscape of Everything are the other universes hinted at in my earlier painting Multiverse [below]. In Multiverse you will notice the little portals/eyes dotted around the tree-of-life...portals to other universes!!! Maybe we have travelled through them... or about to?
 
 
Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm
 
SPACE IMAGERY AND SIMULATIONS
 
I was also thinking about the space imagery we see in books and on the internet. Some are photographs taken by various means, artists'/illustrators' impressions, and others are computer simulations. These images can be beautiful with a sense of reality and a non-reality. The play between these states is intriguing. I was thinking about this 'play' when I was painting Landscape of Everything. Rather than re-create something that looked 'real' I wanted to stimulate recognition, without a sense of surity.
 
The interesting fact that many images of cells etc under a microscope appear 'cosmic' [and vice versa], also got me thinking. The repetition of pattern across the vast scale of the universe is extraordinarily exciting. Yet, merely recording and showing the replication, for me at least, does not embrace its potential to go beyond the interest factor into realms where new ideas/insights maybe generated. Whilst Landscape of Everything is not a 'landscape' in the traditional sense, I have tried to elicit a sense of recognition of an 'environment' at the same time as stimulating fun, questions, debate and more...conversation maybe?
 
PERSPECTIVE AND LANDSCAPE
 
Regular readers will know of my keen interest in perspective and the potential for us to see multi-perspectives, even simultaneously. Certainly, modern cosmology has provided us with ample new viewpoints, which keep expanding, into vastness, the quantum and possibility. It also, I think, compels us to develop more sophisticated ideas of literal and metaphoric perspective that may lead to new skills and insights. Indeed, I argue, that notions of 'landscape' need to be untethered from Earth, especially in an age where, for example, we literally have a glorious amount of new visions of Earth from outer space.
 
In an increasingly globalised world, a cosmic perspective may afford us the opportunity to avoid [or stop] navel gazing. Planet Earth is our only home, for the foreseeable [and beyond] future and we need to work together to look after it, as well as collaboratively ensure that our immediate space environment is managed in a sustainably appropriate way. As I have written before...Earth maybe our home, but the Universe is our environment.
 
DOTS
And, it did occur to me that my new painting could be just a bunch of coloured balls painted onto an interesting background. But....
 
........................................................................................................
 
Here's a few earlier posts which might interest you:
 
 
..........................................................................................................
 
 My next solo exhibition
 
COSMIC ADDRESS
 
will be in 15- 27 October
Brisbane
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn

 

 

Monday, April 08, 2013

ON MY TRAVELS I SAW

On My Travels I Saw Oil on linen 90 x 100cm
 
'On my travels I saw'....now where does this lead?
 
 
I wanted to paint an image that reached beyond ideas of literal travel into the vast and intimate distances of imagination. So...'on my travels I saw'...can literally mean seeing something on a journey, but it can also mean conjuring idylls, exploring make-believe, capturing dreams, playing with possibilities, seeking and finding beauty.
 
I also wanted to paint an image that ruffled landscape...earth bound landscapes. I have previously written about my ideas of untethering notions of 'landscape' from Earth, embracing the multitudinous perspectives offered by modern cosmology. So....in On My Travels I Saw there is a landscape, but is it Earth, is it another planet, is it in the past or in the future? The three round and coloured balls are playfully ambiguous. Are they other planets, are they the one planet travelling through time, are they spaceships, are they the whispers from other universes or remnants of the Big Bang? Or, are they moments in a dream, particles of consciousness, inceptions of imagination? I suggest they are all these things and more. It's up to you!
 
 MEETING PLACE OF THE MIND
 
In June 2011 I painted a painting and wrote a BLOG post called Meeting Place of The Mind . Here's a quote from my post:
 
I wanted to create an image which 'spoke' of mind, thinking, intelligence...all in their broadest senses from nano to universal, from human to divine. The trees, figures and the spiral in 'Meeting Place Of The Mind' have an almost synaptic appearance, which I am really pleased about, because it references interconnectedness and the life propelling nature of systems.
 
To read more click HERE
 
 
Meeting Place Of The Mind Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2011
 
 
 
OTHER 'TRAVELLING' PAINTINGS
With the help of the tree-of-life
 
 
 Tree-Of-Life Time Travelling Oil on linen 90 x 150 cm 2012
 
 
 Returning Oil on linen 50 x 94 cm 2012
 
 
When It Rained On Mars? oil on linen 90 x 150 cm
 
 
 
MY BROTHER'S LATEST POST AND PHOTOGRAPH
 
Please check out the image.
It is amazing.
Believe me!
 
 
 
THANK-YOU
Thank you to everyone who has been visiting my BLOG. Numbers are steadily increasing and I am most appreciative.
 
Cheers,
Kathryn

Monday, April 01, 2013

RISKY BUSINESS

 
      Shadow's Secret Gouache on paper
 
First things first...good news...a few good things have happened in the last couple of weeks.
 
1. Just over two weeks ago I sold a large painting Quiet Fierceness of Light! The people who bought it wanted a painting for their fabulous new apartment. They wanted an impact piece to hang over the dining room table. The painting looks fantastic and is in direct line of sight of the front door. I took 5 paintings, which were chosen as possibilities by the buyers, over to their apartment and we spent a couple of hours playing with each painting, before they decided on Quiet Fierceness of Light.
 
2. Just on two weeks ago my father survived emergency surgery. He was given a %20 chance of surviving the operation and he beat the odds. He has already had two open heart surgery operations, one in his 40s, and one in his 50s. I won't go into details, but suffice to say he is obviously as strong as an ox and an example of modern medicine's ability to sustain life and wellbeing.
 
3. A few days ago Nancy Ellen Abrams, co-author with her husband Prof. Joel Primack of The New Universe and The Human Future, tweeted my post and painting Cosmic Address. Needless to say I was very grateful for this! Within a few hours of her tweet, Deepak Chopra had retweeted Nancy's tweet! Since then I have had a huge increase in visitors to my BLOG. Indeed, I am very grateful.
 
 
   Shadow Play Gouache on paper
 
RISKY BUSINESS
 
Why did I call this post Risky Business? Well...for a few reasons, but in general because life is full of risk. This is not a bad thing, it's just a fact. We don't generally think about it, unless we are doing something new or potentially dangerous. Or, placed in a situation like my father. Yet, risk is an interesting subject whether it's about an individual or a collective...and it becomes fascinating when it's about the whole of humanity.
 
CSG Example
I have previously written about risk, particularly pertaining to the coal seam gas [CSG]industry here in Australia and overseas. To read my previous post called RISK please click HERE In this post I write about the difference between the % risk considered appropriate for business and that which may be considered appropriate for science. There is a large difference! In my mind, activities such as CSG extraction are too risky, not just for the immediate locale, but for humanity. These activities place underground and above ground water quantity and quality at risk. Soil degradation, health issues, whole process methane leakage, environmental issues and more have a cumulative potential that is a threat to humanity eg: food production.
 
If one locale continues with activities that hold a risk to the immediate environment...well it's not good....but if all over the world a mindset about the benefits of such activities like CSG means it becomes a global activity, then I suggest it becomes a risk to humanity...now and into the future. For me much of the risk with CSG is that people are viewing it with a business risk analysis rather than a scientific one.
 
Tonight ABC's 4Corners aired a program called 'Gas Leak' which exemined CSG exploration in Queensland and New South Wales. Amongst many issues, the various problems associated with aquifers is becoming serious. This is despite repeated warnings, over the last few years, from farmers, scientists, environmentalists and even the Federal Government's Water Commission 2010 position paper calling for caution.
 
[Happy to say my painting Risk featured in the earlier BLOG post RISK sold to a stockbroker!]
 
AGING, DEATH....BIRTH
I have just read a fascinating fable The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant written by philosopher Prof Nick Bostrom. He is Professor, Faculty of Philosophy & Oxford Martin School; Director, Future of Humanity Institute; Director, Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology, University of Oxford. The fable suggests that aging, and our acceptance of it as fate, are major problems for, and risks to humanity. In his TED presentation in 2007 he lists 'death' as the first of three major problems facing humanity.
 
Please visit his home page, where there is a plethora of fascinating links and articles covering an array of interesting subjects.
 
 Towards The Past and Future Gouache on paper
 
In the fable thousands of people are delivered daily to a fierce dragon who eats them. This goes on for decades and decades, until finally effort is put into technology to combat the dragon. Very early on the humans decide, in order to keep the dragon placated, to send older and elderly people to their violent and sacrificial demise. Yes, this is sad, but I'd say, a clever initial solution. Why? Because sending young people would have certainly diminished, if not wiped out, the potential for new births...ultimately leading to no humanity at all. Well, maybe all the old people would have spent time cloning themselves as dragon fodder? I doubt it, because it took them long enough to develop the technology to kill the dragon. So, initially the humans bought time, but they essentially wasted it, until a young boy reminded them to be humane.
 
The idea that aging and death are serious issues facing humanity got me thinking. I agree that they are significant issues, but I suggest that a more important vulnerability is fertility ie: the ability to produce, have and nurture babies...new life. I have previously written about Lord Martin Rees and his wonderful book 'Our Final Century'. In this book Rees examines a number of potential and cataclysmic demises for humanity and/or the planet. I gathered that he thought the most frightening danger is the aberrant group or individual, who if undetected, is able to produce something which annihilates humanity. What if an aberrant group or individual deliberately...or accidently...produced something that rendered all humans infertile, neutered all reproductive viability?
 
Would cloning be an answer? Would enhancing longevity be an answer? Would merging human and machine be an answer? These potential answers are all about the continuance of life already in existence, not the creation of new life.
 
Seeking The Past and Future Gouache on paper
 
So, this risky business of living...got me thinking.
 
For me, two significant dangers are 1. potential threats to human fertility and reproductive viability and 2. insanity.....!!!!
 
INSANITY
An aberrent individual or group, with a desire to create something that could potentially wipe out the human race and/or destroy the planet, would by definition be insane. How prevalent is insanity in the community? Insanity does not mean unintelligent, and that's where the danger and risk, suggested by Rees's concerns about aberrant groups or individuals, lies.
 
SHADOWS
So many questions! They cast shadows across life, but they also remind us of life. A shadow cast by a rising sun heralds a future. A shadow cast by a setting sun does not necessarily herald an end, but rather the fulsomeness of life already lived, a past. This past can be an individual one or representative of humanity's universal past. From a cosmic point of view if everything in the Universe is made of star dust created at the big bang, then we never die, we just return to the stars.
 
How's that for a poetic end?
 
 
Cheers,
Kathryn