Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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Posted by ubpdqn on January 26, 2012

Ecce home (Behold the man) c 1503-1505 by Andrea Solario

I have been taking time away from the real world.  2011 passed with many stresses and challenges. A number of old wounds were opened and new wounds created that remain unresolved.

As an act of escape (perhaps in search of my own rebirth), I undertook a whirlwind road trip. I went with someone very important to me, an intelligent woman passionate about art. Our aim was to attend the Renaissance Exhibit at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

There were moments in this journey that intrusive painful memories could not be suppressed or were brought forth after the most innocent events.  The melancholia was, however,  subdued by the wonderful adventure in the National Gallery.

We started with the Portrait Gallery, then went through the Renaissance exhibit (with audio guidance) , then went through the rest of the Gallery.

This was not only a visual feast but in unintelligible ways was soothing.  The journey through techniques of the Renaissance and the exquisite detail in sheen of surfaces and folds on fabrics and the play of light and shadow drew me into the late 15 and  early 16 the century. The change from flat (almost emotionless) religious imagery to images with perspective, and more realistic forms,  seemed to my ignorant eye to enhance the connection with the content (accepting the necessary underlying symbolism in components and composure).

The general gallery was a tour through indigenous art, and a number of styles of modern art: abstract, dada, surreal and more. I certainly do not understand the academic aspects of these different forms but as I wondered (with my educated and informed guide) I was struck by a number of things:

  • the amazing variety of representational styles
  • the complexity of the compositions
  • some life lessons for me:
    • the background is as important as the main piece: we common people provide the relief and the foundation for our fellow accomplishment journeymen to contrast
    • sometimes there is no main subject, no clearly defined foregound, mid ground and background. Everywhere you looked there was something interesting, some new approach. I am certain with both these somewhat abstract and the more traditional representations, one can come back to the well again and again and get a different impression. In life, accepting the random as an opportunity and the revisiting the past may give fresh perspectives
    • the indigenous art frequently weaved intricate components seamlessly into a complex interesting whole: pictures nested in pictures. The beauty in the small things can integrate into beauty in the large…with the right craftsman.  Beauty at multiple scales.  An invitation to be open to the wonders of the natural world which effortlessly creates magnificent forms, perhaps on the basis of a small set of simple rules.

This post has been a flight of ideas and perceptions and not a coherent considered expression.

I hope that we have time to escape, time to be reborn and that 2012 affords us all more opportunities for rejuvenation.


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