and reflections from the artist.
Its only now that the paintings containing stones as a central
part of the landscape/mindscape theme have appeared. Years of research
- reading books, (not always about stones, but relative; interlinked
and connected), visiting sites; observing the ceremonial landscape;
letting the information sink in - are now begining to rise to the
surface of my life.
I feel re-generated as a human being and as an artist.
new works featured here in my gallery are based on the stone
circles of Callanish (Calanais), influencing the shape and character
of each painting. Callanish lies on a latitude of 58 degrees
North, situated near the Clisham Range and Pairc Hills, which
when viewed from the north, form the shape of a woman lying on
her back. This is known as 'Cailleach Na Mointeach' - the Old
Woman of the Moors (The Sleeping Beauty). It is related to the
rising and setting of the moon at its rare south extreme every
18.61 years; the moon rises from 'Cailleach Na Mointeach' (Pairc
Hills), passes low at due south, setting into the Clisham Hills,
to reappear - regleam - briefly, in a cleft in the valley of
This lunar cycle, the stones and stone circles are combined with
the landscape - within ceremony - to establish a sense of time,
dates and seasons.
placing of the stones at various sites point to different aspects
of the south extreme moonrise over Cailleach Na Mointeach, and
introduces the sexual element involved in these ceremonies that
symbolise birth, life & death. These standing stones are
a symbol of erection, strength and phallic prominence - of re-generation.
more I paint these stones, the more I want to paint them - though
its not easy to convey textured oil paint as solid rock, grooved
and weathered, curved and angular - yet I wish to combine what
has already inspired myself in previous works with what intrigues
and fascinates me today. To mix emotional intensity, colour and
symbols of ancient mystery that are secrets within us all - to
make sense of past and present - for the future.
yes Barney - it does take years.......
Ref: Information source and deepest thanks -'Callanish - Stones,
Moon and Sacred Landscape' by Ron & Margaret Curtis and Gerald
and Fire Records