Picture Spotlight

June 2017 - "Glacial Surf - Ice Melting"

I've chosen a painting that has only 2 colours - white and turqoise, about ice flows in polar ice-caps. It reveals that in counterpoint to its simplicity and naiveity there lies a terrible tragedy of climate change that is so complex and is divisive an issue.that it has become 'trendy taboo'. As someone who has worked for Greenpeace in Colorado as a young bloke, I am concerned that trendy often means trivia or fashionable. This Painting does not hammer you over the head with the 'heinous harm done to the environment by mankind', because  as a Painter i find that there is a beauty that I 'Shouldn't ' feel about the crashing and collapsing outrage of ice-flow broken into pieces. My deal is what has become of the polar bear, often the first to suffer from ice shrinkage, having to take more risks with her young family just to eat. But this is the point, we can ignore tragedy of climate change until something close to your heart is so harrowing that you are catapaulted into doing something about it.


Some ideas :

1.This Painting tries to reflect(no pun intended) the enormity of the ice-flow, and its intimidating nature, but the image however is not meant to be stationary in spite of the colossal and imposing structure of it.
2. This is glacial unstoppability that grinds and yet that molds the rock. It is an abrasion and a creative force, a paradox that I've been aware of in my work for 8/9 years.
3. Extremities of power combines with a collision and extremities of weather.
4. It's inhospitable nature to man excludes us but dwarfs the urban detritus and pollution of man and his Towers of Babel.
5. There is something so desolate about any desert to me that is so utterly pure and untouched by man's interference that there is no sense in Oil rigs blotting the atmosphere, carving up, poisoning, polluting etc this polar region for all the tea in China.
6. Indeed, is nature fighting back - it will find a way to devour us or drown us.
7. Then there are the other conspiracies...
I hope this isn't me just doing the stream of conscious thing, but, if that is what it is ,then that is how I paint. I am quite aware that I meander, but there are times when I fixed on something. I normally would say that there is both detail and movement in my work, but not in this particular Painting. Was I making a point about that or was I preoccupied by something else?  I sometimes find that not all my Painting's are sequential, and there are times when I've been conscious and have been able to 'plan' ahead. This Painting was quite quick to get the feeling for it and to prepare for, but I was concerned as to whether I'd screw it up because it is essentially a naive and binary colour code that would fail if I wasn't prepared to be methodical and sensitive, and mindfull of the danger areas.

© 2020 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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