Setting

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted on cradled birch panel (2020)

Size: w 13″ x h 18″ x d 1.5″

Last night I was thinking about the poet Louise Bogan (subject of my PhD thesis a while back). She and her husband renovated an old farmhouse in New York state in 1929. She loved that house. A year and a half later they were driving home from visiting his mother and could see over the horizon that their house was burning. She lost all her manuscripts.

The painting above is about the sun setting. The poem below is about climate change — not about Bogan’s experience — but the image in my head of her house burning, seen through her eyes, was the spark for it.

Bereft

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When I left, the world was green

There was birdsong

There was life.

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Left/Nothing

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I came home to find my house on fire

I was not gone long

I had not gone far.

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I dream of scorched earth

Lost Spirit

Coloured gesso, acrylic, graphite, ink on canvas (2022)

Size: w 14″ x h 20″ x d 1.5″

“Przewalski’s horse” is the only truly wild horse in existence. Other horses thought of as wild are in fact feral, according to The Smithsonian. For many years it was extinct in the wild, surviving only in zoos and field stations; its population was at long last successfully reintroduced in the 1990s to its native Mongolia where it is regarded as holy and known as the takhi (meaning spirit, worthy of worship). I picture the takhi roaming from room to room in Palladio’s Villa Poiana, lost between heaven and earth. The image arose from the confluence of two dreams I had 15 years apart, the most recent just a few weeks ago.

Nereids in the Clouds (Detail)

Acrylic, pastel, ink, Japanese paper on canvas (work in progress, 2022)

Size: w 30″ x h 15″ x d 1.5″

This painting began as a simple study of white clouds across a blue sky, with of course my two Nereid friends present leaping from one to the next. I decided it needed more colour, texture and complexity. The above detail is roughly 6″ x 4″, so I have a bit yet to do.