"Let us dream of evanescence and abandon ourselves to the crazy beauty of things." (Okakura Kakuzo)
ARTWORKS OF THE COLLECTION
THE STORY BEHIND
Isn't it peculiar how the imagery of air and breath accompanies us throughout our lives - just as we are given “the breath of life” when we come into the world, we give out our “final breath” when time has come for us to depart this earth. What if our lives were as ethereal as air, our fragile existence but a light touch on the canvas of the world, condemned ultimately to oblivion ? Air and the lightness and freedom of the wind are the inspiration behind this collection, which celebrates impermanence and the fragile beauty of a but ephemeral life, hence its title “Evanescence”.
Although I have used matter and texture to create volume throughout this collection, I have deliberately done so in soft and light touches, as if I had been using watercolour, to let emotion and light shine through. My brush strokes also recall the curves of an ECG, their constant and rapid movement to and fro, linking the top and bottom of each painting. As it is in life, where we have highs and lows, harmony can and must be born of the union of opposites.
In this collection, everything I paint appears to reach for the sky. In each painting there is a movement upwards, a desire to escape gravity. In my art as in my life, I am permanently torn between my dream of an ethereal life and aspiration to infinity, and my real life, with my feet firmly on the ground, and subject to all the limitations of reality. Painting is my way of bridging these two lives, both equally precious to me, despite their contradictions.
There are also numerous references to reflections on water, and water as a mirror in this collection, inspired by Alphonse de Lamartine's poem “Le Lac” (The Lake) : “Constantly pushed toward new coasts like this, swept away into eternal night without return on the ocean of the ages - can we never cast anchor for a single day ? (…) O time, suspend your flight ! And you, happy hours, suspend your race : let us savor the fleet delights of our fairest days ! Let us love then, let us love ! Let us revel in the flying hour - Hurry ! Man has no harbour, Time has no shore; it flows, and we pass !”
I imagine this lake guiding us between its shores fringed with reeds, thoughtful, fragile and yet so resilient, those of whom Jean de La Fontaine said that whilst they do bend, they never break ! Stylised reeds reminiscent of long bird feathers are present as a signature in almost all of my paintings in this symbolic collection...
“Evanescence” raises existential issues and is therefore quintessentially a romantic collection, in the literary meaning of the word. There is however no place for despair here – the streaks of colour which convey the impression of a vanishing dream are neither tears nor the sign of a bleeding heart… On the contrary, I have used all the colours of the rainbow to sing this high and clear : “Carpe Diem ! Enjoy today for all it has to offer, for time goes by and life soon runs its course”.