A Constellation Landscape
Leaving the castle behind her she entered the forest and followed the stars that twinkled through the branches of the trees, guiding her to a new place.
As she approached she heard humming, water, singing and laughter.
She saw an infinite blue sea beneath galaxies, particles of magic, green islands and trees made of stars
She saw carefree dancers moving in space full of joy and improvising with self-assured steps. They floated through fragments of light, kissing the stars and brushing them with the back of their hands as they passed them by.
This was where dreams came from and constellations rallied behind humans to help them manifest their desires.
Here creation boasted and spread out in abundance.
It was here that you discovered your true voice and the freedom to express your imagination in all its brilliance.
This was the place of miracles.
This story was written in late 2011 after my solo exhibition: Lion Constellation, Tales of Love and Reason and was inspired by Starlight Reunion,one of the paintings from that show. It depicted a castle at the top of a mountain and a young female figure running quickly downhill towards the entrance of a forest. The sky was made up of different hues of blue and was filled with an infinite number of intricate stars. The girl’s dress appeared camouflaged as it too was blue and covered with the same stars.
Coupled with a need to bring closure to an intense period of art making I also had a curiosity about the painting itself: where was the girl heading towards? and, what would happen if I were to paint more of the dense decorative star motifs? which was new to my work. So I asked the artwork those questions and the first answer came in the form of the poem/prose A Constellation Landscape. It set the stage for nearly 2 years of painting and exploring an imaginary place.
These landscapes initially and uncharacteristically for me, had no figures in them. Instead, they were dominated by a star filled sky, similar to the one in Starlight Reunion, blue sea, green island/s with a tree/s (almost as big as the island itself) which was made up of stars rather than branches: Spirit Constellation and Two are both good examples of these. Eventually the landscapes invited figures to occupy them. In time the stars and the islands in this landscape allowed a little colour beyond just the blue, white and black, to come into play.
This quickly opened up the door for more colour and with this the stars began to change into blossoms and arabesque shapes. The relatively small paintings got a little larger and eventually I asked the question “what would happen if I zoomed in?” that’s when I made Waterfall, the first large scale painting in the series. After this the colour really flooded in and the flowers blossomed and the space of the canvas filled with multi-layered patterns. My paintings began immediately to feature larger human figures with clearer characteristics and knowing, contented expressions such as Star Breather and Constellation Maiden. The sculptures I created during this time were of star men, aviators and galactic figures like the Head Dress Maiden, all suggesting they had the power of flight.
With the appearance of my Magician sculpture this series of work came to an end. He stood with a strong and solid stance, his arms stretched out holding a cloak of the galaxy above his head. Then for the second time I wrote another story to mark the end of a cycle. This time it started with: Once upon a time there was a girl who looked up at the sky a lot… and lead to an idea for my next solo show. I’ll write about that next time.
I can say with some confidence that in the last few years writing has become one of the techniques I use to propel the story behind my art and at times to inspire the next art work. It helps me reflect on pieces that have been created to uncover deeper meanings, new stories and artistic challenges. Writing encourages a dialogue with the art works themselves and helps to separate myself a little; enough to make possible, thinking and seeing in different ways.
2011, 86x 86cm
2011, 60x 45cm
Miracle 2: To Know
2011, 35x 25cm