Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Joyce Gunn Cairns 'Chrysalis'

Hello everyone

I hope you are well and enjoying the Scottish summer time....better late than never!
Speaking of which, the current exhibition, 'Head to Head', is now in the final week, so you still have time to come in and see these remarkable artworks.
I've noticed something about this exhibition that I haven't really considered before - it requires an element of silence to experience the work fully.
Perhaps this is due to much of the work being so 'emotionally charged', artists Norrie Harman and Joyce Gunn Cairns being brilliant examples.
Lets have a look at this:

'Chrysalis, Self Portrait' oil and pencil on card by Joyce Gunn Cairns.

Now this work has received a lot of attention and perhaps doesn't require me to say that much about it. It's a strong and confident , yet hugely sensitive and revealing painting which I believe holds it's own.
However, I've been looking at 'Chrysalis' everyday now for nearly a month . It's 'got me', and I'd be loathed to say farewell without giving it the salute it deserves.
There is much to admire in this work and indeed in the artist herself. As an exercise in drawing and painting, I really don't think it gets better than this. For me, everything is bang on - the composition, gently dominated by a dignified and noble pose, mark making at it's finest and an informed and subtle palette....there is no need for over-intrusive colour here.
Then of course there's the title, 'Chrysalis'. I wonder if perhaps I feel such an affinity for this painting because it's a self portrait by a female artist looking honestly and reflecting on herself. Constantly growing, ever evolving, whilst embracing age and wisdom with grace and perhaps a little uncertain of the journey. Having got to know Joyce as a person, I think of her as a solo warrior, committed to producing work of the highest integrity and true to herself: driven, but always willing to support, share and educate her fellow artists and the wider community. It is not by chance that Joyce Gunn Cairns has an accolade awarded from Buckingham Palace does not happen all that often and is reserved for only the best of the best.
So I'm going to end, having thought about it a little more, by saying that surely a painting like 'Chrysalis' does not appeal just to women?
Don't both men and women often feel the urge to stop, take an honest look at themselves and consider both their past and future?

'I suffer from the wilderness
I suffer in silence
A loss of identity

''Identity Of The Self" Anon 2009.

Speak soon.....

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