Thoughts 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.

These 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 Glen Langdale.
This lunar cycle, the stones and stone circles are combined with the landscape - within ceremony - to establish a sense of time, dates and seasons.

The 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.

The 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.

..........and yes Barney - it does take years.......


Text Ref: Information source and deepest thanks -'Callanish - Stones, Moon and Sacred Landscape' by Ron & Margaret Curtis and Gerald Ponting.

Photo ref: Blood and Fire Records









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