Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Showing Them Our Home Oil on linen 30 x 56 cm 2017

Here's me with my three daughters. They are all adults now. We hover in space as we gaze upon Earth - a pale blue dot - home. 

An experience with perspective - temporal, spatial, metaphoric.

Looking back upon my role as a parent, there are many things I consider important. One is that as a significant adult in a young person's life, whether parent or other, the role of introducing them to the world, our Earthly home and universal environment, is up there on top of the list. One could say that birth is an introduction to the world, and yes it is, but as time goes by, the world is a continuously unfolding mystery. 

There are many ways to introduce someone to broader terrains and ideas. For me, engaging perspective - literal and metaphoric - transcends distance, and in doing so, imagination and compassion are ignited. In catapulting a person from one point of view to another, the world and oneself, dances the rhythm...one minute up close, the next flung to a distance - at one instant close enough to feel breath, the next flung so far away that features disappear - exposing a much bigger picture.      

Polymath Grandmother
My maternal grandmother D. E Ross - a polymath - knew the constellations and planets. She would take me and my two younger brothers out into dark nights, to show us various celestial entities. In Western Queensland there was no light pollution, thus our night skies were [and are] truly wondrous. As a child I was interested in my grandmother's impromptu lessons, but as an adult I look back and recognise a special introduction to the world, our universal one. I wonder if my interest in far horizons and cosmic perspectives was spurred by my grandmother's urgings to look up and wonder.

One of my daughters  has shown a keen interest in space, the outer-space kind of space. She has attended one of the International Space University's Summer programs, held in Adelaide, at the University of South Australia. As a law graduate, she has interests in how current and future legal frameworks will cope with issues such as mining on other planets/moons, space travel and so on. Her impetus comes from a concern for humanity, but also the environment beyond Earth. Maybe discussions about my cosmic paintings, and the things that influenced them, worked their way into my daughter's consciousness? An introduction to 'our world', the universal one, via art!

OUR - our
When I showed my daughters Showing Them Our World  they all understood it. The 'our' in the title is not only about us as a family, but all of humanity - the collective OUR. This latter sentiment is truly conveyed by Carl Sagan's words in his book Pale Blue Dot (1994). I have a number of pale blue dot paintings - inspired by perspective, Sagan's words and the famous photograph taken by Voyager 1 as it started its exit from the solar system in February 1990. I recently wrote a post about a few of my pale blue dot paintings. You can read more at this link Pale Blue Dot - Planet Earth 

It is unanimous - all four of us - this painting is never for sale. 


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