Sunday, 7 June 2015

San Jose 33

San Jose 33 Oil on Canvas 122x76cm Tom Cullen 2010

                                           I painted "San Jose 33" towards the end of 2010,after making a small acrylic sketch in which I experimented with contrasting colour tones and tonal values. This colour combination seemed to work and I changed the profile from horizontal to vertical from the original sketch to improve the composition. The intention was to be very simple,direct and explore some freedom during the painting sessions.
                                                Whilst I was completing this painting, news updates were coming through with regard to the miners trapped in Copiapo,Chile.On the 5th August the mine had collapsed leaving thirty three workers 600 metres underground.Once it was known that they were still alive, the rescuers implemented a comprehensive plan to 

Study for San Jose 33 Acrylic on paper
both nurture and release them. The whole world was now focused on this mission, whilst the miners beneath endured severe food rationing and isolation. However, the moment of global joy came some sixty nine long days later, when one by one, the miners were brought to the surface over a period of almost twenty four hours. For once,the media had something positive to focus on and the world celebrated this success of this mission.
                                                It seemed appropriate therefore to call this painting"San Jose 33". After all it appears from the beginning, it may have been an inner exploration of personal entrapment and the desire for freedom. Given the pain and sacrifice these miners endured during this intensive time of confinement, it is more than important to pay homage to them and also to those who secured them safely.

"Song for San Jose Miners" by Jack Warsaw

Above: Opening Night at the W3 Gallery, "Global Dimensions" Exhibition June 4th.