LET’S GO TO THAT LAND

SOMETIMES THAT HOLY FEELING MEETS ME IN THE FOREST

Acrylic, linen, on canvas,  2023, 120 x 120 x 5 cm

The title of this one is a quote from one of my own poems,” Super-power”. The text is painted into it but less visible. My paintings are beginning to look more deeply into that reverie of landscape, how we find ourselves in it.

My poems as well are often really about this sort of psychoanalytical way into the relationship between landscape/nature and human.

The mix of abstraction and figuration, blurring the categories.

 

 

 

THE PINK HAT

Acrylic, collaged paper and linen on canvas, 61 x 61 cm

Again I am trying to paint this very lightly, watering down the paint to keep it matt. A lot of dabbing on and dabbing off, and the fine linen making the paint behave in its special way. This was  inspired by a photo I took using the Hipstamatic app, with its weird colours and strange light flashes.

The watercolour in my sketch book is the key.

IN PARADISO

 

Acrylic, bronze powder, varnish, collaged paper with gouache and watercolour pencil, linen, on canvas 120 x 100 x 5 cm. 2023

 

with this painting I am pushing the watercolour effect as far as I can. The amount of paint on the areas around the figures and the trees is absolutely minimal, in washes allowing tide marks and runs. I painted some of it flat on the grass in my back garden, as the weather was nice. The bronze powder was floated onto water and glaze on the big tree trunk shape, then fixed with spray varnish. But in the end not much of it shows because I put a runny glaze of sappy green over quite a large proportion of the painting.

you can see the glaze veiling the loose textured painting in the top left.

You can see how thin the paint is on top of gesso on the fine linen, and how I kept the figure painting really loose with very little correction.

 

THE LIGHT OF THE NORTH CALLING THEM (SNOW ON THE HILLS)

2023, acrylic and collaged linen and paper on canvas, 100 x 100 x 5 cm

This one took advantage of a previously not-finished, but stuck abstract with lots of layers. I gessoed two layers of fine linen onto it, saving the best part of the abstract, and there is a three-dimensional frayed edge between the two.

This is a new addition to my paintings – instead of scratching lines or phrases from poems into the paint, I have printed a recent poem out and cut it up, sticking some words onto the canvas and glazing over the top.

LETS GO TO THAT LAND

 

Acrylic, paper, charcoal, linen on canvas, 2022, 61 x 61 cm, the first of a series of nine paintings.

Finding the poems of Meera Bai, a 16th century hindu mystic and saint (through the Junun album, and film of the same name, by Paul Thomas Anderson, made in Jodhpur Fort in Rajasthan in 2015, by Shye Ben Tzur and Jonny Greenwood with Qawwali and other traditional musicians and singers) has brought a new dimension to my painting.

 

these works are about an interior landscape, a different sort of pilgrimage.

Pilgrim trails, ritual walks;
voyages in, an interior path;
imagined geographies, memory maps.
A place within a landscape that corresponds to a place within the heart.

CHALA VAHI DES (LET’S GO TO THAT LAND)
Poetry by Meera Bai
Translated by Shlomzion Kenan & Sajida Ben Tzur
Let’s go to that land, where my beloved shall be found,
If you ask ‒ I shall dye my saree in the colors of flowers.
If you ask ‒ I shall wear saffron attire.
If you ask ‒ I shall adorn my hair with pearls,
If you ask ‒ I shall leave it undone. Meera’s Lord is Krishna,
Hear me, oh King of Kings.
the series’ titles make a poem in response to Meera Bai’s poetry, and the mystic trance music of the Qawwali musicians in the 2015 album Junun.
(All music composed by Shye Ben Tzur
Arranged by Shye Ben Tzur & Jonny Greenwood, Produced by Jonny Greenwood)

List of titles as a poem –

Let’s Go To That Land
Making A Path To The Beloved
To The Field
To Gather Treasure
In The Library Of The Forest
And The Colours Of Flowers
In The Hills
If You Ask –
Where My Beloved Shall Be Found

 

MAKING A PATH TO THE BELOVED

Acrylic, paper, linen, oil pastel, charcoal, soluble graphite on two canvases, diptych. 2022. 80 x 120 cm.

“I’ve torn my scarf into shreds; I’m all wrapped up in a blanket.
I took off my finery of pearls and coral, and strung a garland of wildwood flowers.
With my tears, I watered the creeper of love that I planted;
Now the creeper has grown spread all over, and borne the fruit of bliss.” (Meera Bai)

This is a painting that was a puzzle for months, until I stuck the large pieces of linen onto it, which freed me up to fit it into this series, give it a subject and a reason to be finished.

IN THE HILLS

Acrylic, paper, charcoal on linen, 2022, 61 x 61 cm.

This painting came after a birthday walk in the Trossachs, amongst birch woods and hilly sitka plantations, above the river Garbh Uisge, meaning Rough Water. Walking through the birches I got my pocket sketch book out and drew madly which made me feel a bit dizzy. Here there is a feeling of looming hills and promontories, and birch trunks and the river full of rocks.

In the Hills refers to the wish of the painter to be up in the wild places, in the heather and the trees, walking and finding themselves.