This is the second introduction post for my new collection of canvas paintings. If you haven't already, I encourage you to first read part 1, as it explains the purpose and symbolism of dark night, which will help you to look at these paintings in context and understand the messages.
To read part 1, click here:
In part 2, I'm going to briefly discuss each individual painting in time order, like a written exhibition. Enjoy!
"To Be Revealed" 8:18 PM
"To Be Revealed" is a painting of an intricate table lamp casting shadows on the wall behind it. This painting represents 8:18 PM, the first painting of the night, and signifies the beginning of a journey. This lamp is a bit like a tree, in the way that many little branches seem to come off of the main branch, and each branch has branches coming off that. For me, it paints a picture of the pathways of life, we are following a road and have the choice to go down all these little twists and turns that lead us to different outcomes.
It's a painting that feels loaded with secrets and the mysteries of the future. Everything is yet to be revealed, which path gets taken, what outcome, where it all leads. All the decisions and the unknown complexities of life. It has both light and shadow, warm and cool tones, blurriness and sharpness.
2. "Dark Night" 9:12 PM
"Dark Night" really sets the scene of the night, depicting an isolated barn/shack/hut in the middle of the woods. Even though the barn seems to be hidden in the dense woodland, you'll notice that there are lamps lighting the way towards it, as if it has been expecting someone to enter it.
The barn represents a safe hiding place made available for someone who has found themselves lost in the woods, and needs to shelter for the duration of the night.
3. "Nobody's Home" 10:30 PM
"Nobody's home" is a small, A4 painting of paper, which depicts the inside of the barn shown in "dark night". This painting is made to look warm and cosy, the lights are on and it feels safe, but there is an emptiness here. When left completely alone, in silence, our thoughts can become all consuming and it's easy to think about the past and what has been, as well as what might be in the future. This is translated in the way that there is scribbly writing and loads going on on the walls. These marks are painted on in metallic shades, so they become visibly bright when under a bright light, but disappear a little in the dark.
4. "Hand-Crafted Tears" 11:59 PM
I have already written in depth about the meaning and process behind this statement piece from "Dark Night" in another blog post, which you can read by clicking here:
Here is a snippet from the blog:
This particular painting represents 11:59 pm. This is the final moment of the old day, just before the new one begins.
"Hand-Crafted Tears" represents the understanding that painful emotions and experiences, as hard as they may be, do actually lead to beautiful changes in ourselves and in our lives. It's the time of processing what has been or happened, and recognising that the tears we cry allow us to let go and release what has been bottled up inside. In order to cry, we need to feel safe, and if we feel safe we can begin to heal. Often, the moment we find complete acceptance of the way we feel and allow it to come through, is the moment just before a new day. It's the passageway to being able to move on.
5. "Blackout" 12:02 AM
"Blackout" is a painting that appears simple, but for me personally it captures an emotion that I can't quite put into words. After letting something go, it can feel like the darkest, most hopeless time of all. When your in the thick of it all, you numb it out and run on adrenaline just to get through, but after letting things go and processing how you feel, it's like going through everything all at once. It's hard to see a way out.
In this painting, it has a tunnel vision type effect, that changes depending on the perspective you look at it from. From one angle, the dark edges seem to be closing in the street lights, and from the other angle, the light from the street lights seems to be breaking through the dark.
Even though this painting represents probably the darkest time in the night, the imagery of the lamps and the golden words, represent the strongest, most resilient type of hope..
6. "Intention" 01:12 AM
"Intention" is one of my favourites from the collection, because of it's warmth and impact.
Following on from "Blackout", a candle has now been lit with intention. Before, the lights were all over the place, but here, after everything was plunged into darkness, two small candles have been lit, to signify the restoration of hope.
7. "Pulling Me Backwards" 2:37 AM
"Pulling Me Backwards" represents the questions that come up after a time of reflection - how time seems to fly and yet go so slow, how we are put on this earth at a certain time, how decisions we make at a certain time affect the whole course of our lives. These questions can be both intriguing but also paralysing.
I still vividly remember the day when I first learnt how to tell the time, and how afterwards, I realised that I had lost something very special. The ability to live without it. The freedom of not being bound the the number of the clock face, or the date, or the year. I never got to live like this again.
Like I said in part 1, during a hard season, focusing on time can become an obsession, pulling us back again and again to places we've been and how if we'd been born at another time, maybe things would be different.
There's something peculiar about painting a clock, that is literally frozen in time, but there is something about it that reminds me to live in the present.
8. "Against All Odds" 3:00 AM
This painting is another favourite of mine, and it emerged really effortlessly after a period of low inspiration. When I got this bigger canvas out, I wanted to paint something that felt like a finale. Even though this is not the final painting of this collection, I do feel like this painting sort of represents a 'breakthrough' moment in the dark night, a sort of break between the deep night, and the early hours of the morning.
This is painting was inspired by a photograph I took many years back of a single yellow rose, that managed to bloom in the middle of winter when everything else had died. The days were dark, it was cold, but against all the odds, the rose still survived, even bloomed. A single rose on a whole rose bush wouldn't be that much of an achievement in the summer - you'd probably think that that rose bush wasn't doing very well. In the context of winter however, it is an amazing thing. So in this sense, the painting holds a lot of grace. We don't need to beat ourselves up for not achieving anything, or not even being able to leave the house when it's a hard time. Nature doesn't look down or think less of the plants and flowers because they don't bloom in the winter season.
This painting holds a big promise - that if one flower managed to bloom in this state, just think how many blooms there would be come summer. The flower represents the hope and therefore is the light in this painting.
9. "Unexpected Keys" 4:19 PM
"Unexpected Keys" shows a close up view of a piano, and even though it's small, it's quite a significant painting for this collection. Like I mentioned in part 1 about turning to words and creative things to express emotions, this painting captures that. The act of writing songs, making music, writing poetry or any kind of art I believe is the key to processing how you feel. The title is not only referring to the piano keys, but also as 'keys' that can be used to unlock a new place.
10. "Moment of Vision" 5:01 AM
"Moment of Vision" is such an eye-catching painting, and definitely stands out from the rest because of the amount of light in it. What this painting represents is a dream, and a clarity on what all of the struggles and pain has lead to and is going to lead to in the future.
This painting was inspired by a photo I took in the john lewis lighting department. There's actually something really special about being surrounded by that many lights, all different shapes and sizes.
If the lights symbolise hope in this collection, then this painting is like seeing every hope and every dream you've ever had, all coming together as one. Some of the hopes are huge, your biggest hope shining the brightest, right on front of your eyes. Then the smaller hopes the little dots of light in the background.
It's like for one second in the dark night, you are able to see clearly and hope as strong as before, and that vision is enough to pull you through until morning.
11. "5:30 AM"
"5:30 AM" is literally named the time that it represents, and the reason for this is because I feel like everyone knows what that early hour in the morning stands for. The weird special feeling you get when you are awake just as dawn is on it's way, but the rest of the world is still sleeping.
A lot of people choose to wake up this early every day, so that they can experience this hour and to reflect. The candle and the written papers sort of create that atmosphere of deep reflection.
The overall impact of this painting on the wall, is the sense of peace and warmth that it creates. At this point, the dark night is ending, so this painting is like finally being able to rest.
12. "Access" 7:00 AM
This is the final painting of the collection and represents the returned freedom. All this time it was from the inside looking out, but now finally the gateway has been found and the keys are in your hand.
So that's all the pieces from the "Dark Night" collection. I hope you found these introduction blog posts interesting, and that you connected with what was said. If you have any questions or want to discuss the art with me, please leave a comment or you can email me directly.
Just a reminder that the virtual exhibition premiers at 7:00 PM on Friday the 19th of February, which you can watch on either my Facebook page, youtube, or on the "DARK NIGHT" page of my website.
The paintings will be available to purchase on my website from 10:00 AM on Saturday the 20th of February.
Thank you so much for reading!