Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know…….
……The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
~TS Eliot, from Burnt Norton
I am working on a series of dark pictures that feature the motif of
the rose. By using one medium (ink) and one motif (the rose) I am addressing the human tendency to reduce complex lived experience into a simplified narrative. Roses are drawn expressively and attended to individually and resist the many brushstrokes and layers of ink. These roses reply to the categories that we use to explain life- such good and evil, us and them, dark and light, enemy and friend, sorrow and joy. The reality is that these categories are mixed up in the lives of human beings and defy simple explanations. Three large works were shown at the exhibition History as Personal Memory at the Slide Room Gallery in February 2018.
Since that exhibition my ink roses have become an expression of a more personal form of resistance – my own navigating the darkness of a complex and chronic form of PTSD. Working on small square pictures of roses has become a form of solace while negotiating the grief of painful personal and collective memory. Read more about this work here.
A number of small roses will be exhibited at the upcoming exhibition Interworld at Arc.hive Artist Run Centre opening May 3rd, 2019