18 August, 2014

Holiday in my head

I have always had a very vivid imagination. My brain likes to hold images and my hand likes to manipulate them into paintings that show me how I feel.The words come after.

 I saw a quote by Edward Hopper that said " If I could say it in words there would be no need to paint it". Sometimes the painting helps me articulate the issue.

This blurry painting is , on the surface, of  a poor rural settlement alongside a railway line. Quite depressing and without any discernible features. A miss mash of shacks, makeshift homes, power lines and not much else.  We saw hundreds of similar locations on our road trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg and back. From the comfort of the front seat of a luxury car, these vistas seemed surreal. I photographed them , adding yet another layer of distance between myself and the grim reality . Layer upon  layer of glass. I found it difficult to look without that filter .

What this painting represents is my reluctance to focus closely on the grimness and reality of that existence. I don't want to see that by sheer luck of circumstance, I was born into the privilege of being privileged. I am educated, solvent, healthy, employed, capable of getting myself out of any hole I have dug, I have skills and I don't have to live there. Poverty is bleak.

So I paint it...all blurred shape , colour and line....the only way I can make sense of it. I am not sure what will become of this painting, but I will paint more and maybe they will one day help. I have a whole holiday of images in my head  to make sense of.A lifetimes work.

oil on canvas
70cm w x 50cm h

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