Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Ammonite (Traveler's Return)"

24" x 30"
Oil-based ink on Stonehenge paper
Artist's Proof

This is dedicated to Kenneth Grahame. The text is taken from his beloved children's book The Wind in the Willows:

Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands tugging all one way.

With this image, I started with the idea of juxtaposing an expressive depiction of an ammonite fossil with a sort of love letter to the long-deceased creature. But as I searched for the necessary words, my mind turned to a dramatic performance of Grahame's book I saw with my daughter a year ago. I think I intuitively connected this piece with that story because - as with many children's stories - all the animals in those stories are really people with animal traits being used symbolically. Also, the spiral is  such a simple arrangement that appears over and over again not only in nature, but in human creations, and has a universal appeal. Somehow I connected that with a work of literature that while written for children, is the product of a mature, adult mind, and expresses many sentiments universal to the human experience.

Here is home, and we have been gone for so long, it is exhilarating to see it again with what feel like new eyes, and yet also a strange and ethereal experience. It is not really the home we knew before, not just because it has changed, but because we have changed. In this life, we circle around over and over again, but with each roundabout, we are somehow both returning to a place we knew and arriving at a novel destination. It is a paradox of time.

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful. My favorite so far. I would love a print.