Opening 6

oil on canvas  20″ x 24″

completed 2013

 

This painting is the sixth in a series of seven I have done so far. These were inspired by the bottom bunk I slept in while at college.

 

More of an explanation into the meaning of this painting is below.

 

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Opening 6

 

This painting is one in a series of paintings I have done, first started in 2000 while still at college. The original idea for these paintings came from a sketch I had made in 1999 while lying on my back gazing up from my bottom bunk. The view up was a strange coloured mattress, a sort of 70s hideously fascinating green-blue. The bedsprings were rows of brown metal waves locked together with bars placed every second wave. My drawing showed a sort of cracked opening in the mattress giving way to a night sky.

The first painting I completed in this series, depicted the same coloured mattress and bedsprings opening to stars. The second (the last I completed while still at college) and the third painting (completed a couple years later), departed a bit from the mattress and springs. Instead they showed a blue sky with clouds and a moon shaped opening containing stars—one of the constellation Gemini and the other Scorpio. The fourth and fifth of this theme returned to the bedsprings but replaced the turquoise-y mattress with a blue to represent sky. This painting again returns to a clouded sky opening to stars, but unlike the two similar sky opening paintings, this one does not depict any particular stars or constellations.

I have often reflected on my continual return to this opening theme. The simplest answer being I didn’t feel ready enough, or fully invested enough, to paint something on a scale I truly wanted to explore—this theme had been done before and therefore it was easier to fall back on.

I can’t necessarily say that my conscious intention behind this particular painting was incredibly meaningful or deep, but I do like exploring and playing with the notion that we are fully embraced and surrounded by the night sky at all times, even during daylight.

I think there is an undercurrent to these opening themes though. The ones containing bedsprings—stirring feelings of being trapped and barred—and all with a longing to connect. But in this painting, without ‘bars’, I feel there is hope in that longing and desire. A chance to connect with what lies outside of life here on earth. To reach out and explore beyond the day to day, to see more than what is presented before us, to crack through and see both sides together as one—day and night, seen and unseen. There is a hope and possibility of truly seeing and experiencing the fullness of life and the beauty of this universe—to dream, explore, learn, and move beyond boundaries.

 

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