Sunday, 12 August 2012

In Search Of Immortality

Last week I went to an interesting exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum entitled ' The Search For Immortality'. It was all about the Han dynasty in China and their belief in the preparation for the afterlife. I went because I had an hour to spare, and Hazel had told me how good it was. What I hadn't registered, was how useful it could be for my next painting 'Love That Dares' until I entered the first room. I had been wrestling with the problem of how to make the animals (in my painting) become part of the background without resorting to the obvious camerflague of nature and also felt uneasy about the bright colours used on some of the Muffin the Mule characters.
However, my encounter with the wonderful stone horses who were guardians of the emperors, gave me lots of ideas. I liked the idea that nearly all the painted colour had drained away, though traces of it remained, reducing almost everything to the textured stone. As well as solving the problem in my work of individual animals standing out I also liked the notion that it looked like all personality had gone and everything had become the same. Further on in the exhibition, I marvelled at  a gold belt buckle where all the finely carved animals intergrated into a total design, rather than standing out from each other.
Whether I can translate all these ideas into paint, remains to be seen, but I have prepared a stained practise canvas (which I aim to scrub back with a small scrubbing brush) ready to have a go.

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