Art Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 31 cm x 91 cm (each panel)
In 2020, I began exploring through a series of paintings I called TROPICAL SHIPWRECK where mermaids rescued musical instruments and musicians from the depths of the sea. Mermaids as well as having extraordinary aptitude for singing and music are also the mythical creatures found in the stories, and therefore the seas of many cultures. Their mystery and place in our imagination were the perfect pairing for the humans attuned to the poetry and beauty of music.
DELIVERY is the most recent addition to the series. The water of this sea is Mediterranean in nature, as are the musical instruments. As i previous versions, the musicians are miraculously breathing under water and the mermaids have easily heard them playing underwater and have instantly come from far and wide.
From left to right each panel shows an evolution in the gestures and manner of assistance the mythical friends give to the humans. By the third panel there is the lightest of touches now instead by the female violinist. She appears as if in a state of pure bliss, savoring and even breathing in the water. Zero resistance and zero effort by the mermaid to lift her out of the water. The mermaid done not seem preoccupied and they are equals, true friends even.
The human subjects of the paintings have been described as “gradually taking on mermaid qualities” without losing their civilian clothing, or their ‘grip’ on their musical instruments, their source of creative expression
A shipwreck is a dramatic event: drowning, struggle, drama and overwhelming emotions, that the sea is a primal representation of. The creative force in humans to survive and adapt into new versions of themselves was the path I chose to took transmutation, love, celebration, renewal., hope, the unexpected. the miraculous! Disaster was not an option though there were signs in the first (far left) painting when the expressive bride and ominous skeletal fish first appeared.
Very quickly though the mermaids appeared with the lightest gesture: holding up, pushing, lifting. And so, the space was created for new ways to envision a rescue from a shipwreck. Perhaps counterintuitive, yet graceful and commanding attention and belief from the viewer. We are left with no doubt (me included) that all will be delivered safely to the surface of the water. They will emerge out of the depth of the sea, new, changed, transformed by their encounter with the mermaids.
The title of the artwork was unexpectedly provided by a mermaid from the central panel who appeared particularly curvaceous. Very quickly I realized I had painted her pregnant. ‘Delivery’ was the perfect title to emphasize that we are not witnessing the urgency of a ‘rescue’ but rather a delving deep into dimensions of the heart and psyche to birth wild creativity and new possibilities.
The expressiveness of the paint strokes balanced with the grace and beauty of the underwater figures sets the stage for seeing possibilities, fluidity and imagination, in the face of adversity.
The 3 paintings were painted and composed to be hung in a particular sequence however i have discovered that variations make for an equally meaningful and beautiful arrangement. The panels will also work well hung individually.