Myths which are believed in tend to become true
I first heard about the legend of the crystal skulls many years ago. I can’t remember now why I became so curious to know more about them, but previously I had painted a series of paintings of the human skull so perhaps it was the combination of those together with a long held love of mineral stones, and a more than passing interest in quantum physics (finding it both utterly fascinating and completely incomprehensible in equal parts) that drew me to start researching their story. A friend told me about the legend of the skulls from the Native American Indian perspective and he suggested I read “Legend of the Crystal Skulls” by Chris Morton and Ceri Louis Thomas which is a compelling account of their journey and extensive research into the story.
Over the past two years I have been working on the twelve paintings that form my tribute to the myth of the crystal skulls which I have called “Holy Ice”. Deliberately not doing the 13th as that seemed to dishonour the legend, each painting seemed to be a different experience. I started very cautiously with the first few, often scraping the painting back completely and starting again, and again…..and again, some taking months to resolve.
Often I would sit in front of a painting for what seemed like hours, almost waiting for it to reveal its individual character, and perhaps it’s whimsical to say that each one seemed to take on their own character as I worked on them, but characters they have certainly become.
Pieces from the Exhibition
* The paintings are on linen canvas on robust stretchers and measure 90cm square. Most are gesso and oil, one is acrylic and pastel.
The Black Paintings
The next exhibition will be the Black Paintings which are a development from the previous group, the date and venue will be announced in the next few months. Please use the form at the bottom of the page to let me know if you would like prior notice of the show.
They are on 90cm square canvas and are mostly charcoal and pastel on an acrylic ground. They are set in ash frames which have been hand painted and placed under museum quality UV resistant glass to avoid fading and reflection. The overall measurement is finally 96 cm square.
This exhibition was held at The Printmakers’ Gallery next door to my studio in Griffin Mill at the end of October 2015, and the paintings were based on the Extreme Poses Life Class held by Paul Fowler at Pegasus Arts.
I was absolutely delighted with everyone’s response to the work, and as a result I sold nearly every one.
Griffin Mill, Stroud, GL5 2AZ
The Imaginary Body
Author: Susan Stewart
"The body presents the paradox of contained and container at once. Thus our attention continually focused upon the boundaries or limits of the body; known from an exterior, the limits of the body as object, known from an interior, the limits of its physical extension into space."