|Through The Edge Of Darkness Oil on Canvas 122 x 77cm|
"Through The Edge Of Darkness" was painted at "The Hampstead School of Art", London somewhere between 2007 and 2008. I had become influenced by the emotional, spiritual works of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. He had experimented, making paintings into experiences of tragedy and ecstasy - the basic conditions of existence.It is said the aim of his life's work was to express the essence of the universal human drama.
I began this piece by using a camcorder, taking blurred still pictures of parts of previous paintings that I was interested in. After taking fifty or so miniature photographs, I selected a couple which I worked up into large scale oil paintings. I used a layering process to give a sense of depth - there are reds, ochre's for instance beneath the white and pinks underlining the grey and black. I used a large brush to soften the edges between the three main areas to help them merge and create a sombre effect.
|With brother Joe c1965|
Joe was warm, generous, compassionate and good humoured. He was extremely intelligent but yet also had the ability to be simple and engaging. I now realise how much music and literature he introduced me to. Despite being in different countries, we linked up and made contact online several times a week.It is true that life will never be the same without him and since he left us, yes, I have felt the pain.
|"Through The Edge Of Darkness" Detail|
So, looking at "Through The Edge Of Darkness" now, I am reminded of this sad loss. Rothko stated "The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their colour relationship, then you miss the point".
I hope, therefore the viewer may not just engage in the colour and techniques of this work, but may also be moved by their own personal and individual experiences, whatever that may be.
And I expect if Joe was here today, I sense he would say "The key point of this painting is the not the darkness at all but in fact the Light that is shining through."
IN MEMORY OF FR. JOE CULLEN O.P.1957-2011