'In the Wake (Response to "The Waste Land")'

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In the Wake (Response to The Waste Land).jpg
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'In the Wake (Response to "The Waste Land")'

700.00

Oil on Canvas

48cm x 37cm

2018

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This painting was made specifically for an exhibition at Leamington Studio Artists in which artists were invited to create work in response to T.S. Eliot's poem “The Waste Land”. The exhibition was part of a wider project called Journeys with "The Waste Land", currently shown at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum , Coventry Cathedral, Turner Contemporary, and organised by the Mead Gallery, Coventry. There were a variety of fantastic events to do with the project - all of them delving into the mind of T.S. Eliot and the contemporary relevance of his poem today. 

This painting was exhibited at East Lodge Gallery, Leamington Spa the home of Leamington Studio Artists. The exhibition was a fascinating treat with a variety of artists interpretations of the poem.

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish?”

For me the poem is a potent reflection of the years that followed the Great War. The feelings that come with war still evident in the human fabric of everyday life- disillusionment, anger, lamentation. I doubt many could escape the trauma of this period and I think such events hang heavy over the poem. 

My painting is meant to be ambiguous, it isn’t a direct representation but rather a disorientated and fragmented vision; much like that of the The Waste Land itself. It has no focal point or real composition and the frantic nature and bleak earthy tones signify the state in which Eliot found himself in. If I’d have to associate something with the painting, it’d be the grotesque nature of war. Maybe one could see it as a trench, or of collapsed earth and rubble. The only promise is a hint of muddied blue- possibly a window of hope and rebirth.

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