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Picture Spotlight

Current Spotlight

Dry, rocky,acrid, and brittle.

1. I'm fascinated by the solitary, and when I walk in cities I tend to look beyond the ground level because in my home town ,even in the cobbled high street, lanes spinning off in various directions the only way is beyond the shoe shops, clothing shops and malls within malls. All I have to do is look at the meadows and hills in the distance to escape sights and the noise, like replacing aromas of cheap sun cream,burger bars and crap coffee for something subtle and extraordinary.

2. I ask the question: is this a mountainous range or an ancient city?

3. Like the gold layer of acrylic, I seem to be 'almost in hiding', searching for that anonymity that is beyond every Painting I produce.

4. The combination of the vertiginous and the precarious seem to be in this Painting, and one fears this is a place of great fractured vulnerability, an earthquake zone and a sense of loss; I feel that somewhere some tragedy happened to literally and figuratively bury people generation after generation, a graveyard of layers and trauma.

5. People are the outsiders and have outgrown there worth in the immense scale and dome-like structures that could still be interpreted as places of worship or beautiful monuments to a culture that beckons. We have outgrown our usefulness in the battle of the figurative and the abstract, the 2D and 3D. and the drama of twilight.

6.Even the stars are obscured by the rolling avalanche of winter forged on the tips of the mountains, darkened by the ominous clouds fighting against the terrifying 'tsunami' of mountains hammering at the horizon, that seem to be devouring the rest of the Painting.

7.So this is not man-made, this is a Painting about an elemental force above the surface and beneath it, coughing-up the invisible dust of fear, where both the figurative and the abstract finally inter-play.

8 Earth colours spew out the cadmium red,alizarin red, peach,/green and yellow hues to be baked and frozen by a landscape of extremes.

9. Both the immovable and brittle made me work hard on this Painting, which took unusually long to finish, but to which I found myself unfailingly torn. Can this Painting remind me of an absence of westernization and all its platitudes and euphemisms?  


Or will I be swallowed-up by the jagged brutality of it?

Stephen Hornsby-Smith
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