oil on canvas 24″ x 36″
This painting is the seventh in a series of seven. These were inspired by the bottom bunk I slept in while at college.
More of an explanation into the meaning of this painting is below.
This painting is one in a series of paintings I have done, first started in 2000 while still at college. The original idea for these paintings came from a sketch I had made in 1999 while lying on my back gazing up from my bottom bunk. The view up was a strange coloured mattress, a sort of 70s hideously fascinating green-blue. The bedsprings were rows of brown metal waves locked together with bars placed every second wave. My drawing showed a sort of cracked opening in the mattress giving way to a night sky.
The first painting I completed in this series, depicted the same coloured mattress and bedsprings opening to stars. The second (the last I completed while still at college) and the third painting (completed a couple years later), departed a bit from the mattress and springs. Instead they showed a blue sky with clouds and a moon shaped opening containing stars—one of the constellation Gemini and the other Scorpio. The fourth and fifth of this theme returned to the bedsprings but replaced the turquoise-y mattress with a blue to represent sky. This painting again returns to a pattern of ‘bars’ against a blue sky opening to stars, but instead of bedsprings I have chosen the pattern of security bars often found on windows and doors here in Australia.
I have often reflected on my continual return to this opening theme. The simplest answer being I didn’t feel ready enough, or fully invested enough, to paint something on a scale I truly wanted to explore—this theme had been done before and therefore it was easier to fall back on. With this painting I have decided this is the last in this series.
I can’t necessarily say that my conscious intention behind this particular painting was incredibly meaningful or deep, but I do like exploring and playing with the notion that we are fully embraced and surrounded by the night sky at all times, even during daylight.
I think there is an undercurrent to these opening themes though. The ones containing bedsprings and the security gate—stirring feelings of being trapped and barred, a reflection of my own struggles with being human and a longing to connect, and perhaps in general for all of us beings living in the material plane of existence. But there is hope, as the opening connects us with what lies outside of life here on earth, an ability to see beyond the day to day, to see more than what is presented before us, to crack through and see both sides together as one—day and night, seen and unseen. There is a hope and a possibility of truly seeing and experiencing the fullness of life and the beauty of this universe—to dream, explore, learn, and move beyond boundaries.