These paintings were inspired by the following lines from The Lives Of The Heart by Jane Hirshfield:
“You must try, the voice said, to become colder. I understood at once. It’s like the bodies of gods: cast in bronze, braced in stone. Only something heartless could bear the full weight.”
Ode to Andalusia
These paintings belong to a series called Ode to Andalusia. Odes move through their subject matter in a particular way – they begin in a place, go on an interior journey and return by way of ending to a somewhat transformed starting point. For me, the end of the journey was a recognition of the Spain that Lorca captured in the following words:
“And a single poplar – the Pythagoras Of the blank plain – Lifts its hundred year old hand And strikes the moon.” (The Interrupted Concert, trans. Ted Hughes)
Somewhere in the South of France
“Souvenirs of Hope” (Marianne Moore)
These paintings are part of an experiment to work with metallics. The great challenge is taming them – it’s a very fine line to walk. Painting this series makes me think of an Emily Dickinson poem that goes something like this:
A Pit—but Heaven over it—
To stir would be to slip—
To look would be to drop—
To dream—to sap the Prop
That holds my chances up.
Ah! Pit! With Heaven over it!