“Women in Stone”
Last year we took a trip to Ireland. The first day, while my wife was at work, I went to one of my all-time favorite museums, the National Gallery only to find HUGE storm damage had closed all but two galleries.
Sean Scully was having a small show in the rotating gallery space they had set up. I had seen his work off and on over the years but never thought much of it. This time I had a viseral reaction to it. I disliked it on many levels: dead colors, sameness of mark, quaility of the paint.
I walked through 5 times making sure I was not just in a bad mood but the looks on the guards faces told me they agreed.
In the next room were photos he had done of the rock fences and walls on Aran Island. These were the begingings of his paintings and they impressed me.
We left the east and drove up to Sligo for a few days, then down to Glin on the Shannon River. I took pictures of wall, fences, burial mounds, city walls, and just about anything made of rocks all along the way.
On a day trip to Limerick I saw a wall made of white rock with brick where a fireplace had been.
The shape and color reminded me of a figure. When I got home I went through some of my recent files and found photos of models and began inserting them in to the rock photos.
The result pleased me so I hired models and finished the series you see here.
‘Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree (There is a willow grows aslant the brook), and the branch had broken and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned. Gertrude says that Ophelia appeared "incapable of her own distress."
My show opens on First Thursday in Portland Oregon at 5:30 at BodyWise, 12th and Lawrence.
I hope you enjoy them.
All work is in an edition of 50.