I have finished my painting, 'will they Remember us'. This weekend I will take it up to the Border Art Prize at the Tweed Art Gallery in Murwillumbah.
I have thought it would be nice to write a story about each painting as I finish, but the truth is that I find it difficult to know precisely what they are about. I tried to write a story for this one, but ended up with more questions than answers.
Beginning with who is asking the question in the title 'will they Remember us'? I think it must be the young woman. The lizards were here before humanity, and perhaps they will be here after we are gone. I wonder, will the animals miss us when we are gone? I know we would miss them terribly. How lonely humanity would be without the company of the animal kingdom.
Will they be relieved if we go? That thought makes me very sad and I hope it is not the case. I hope they would forgive us our hubris and ignorance, and miss us a little.
Who is the young woman? I think many of the women in my paintings are not completely human. For me that is somehow indicated by them being barefoot, which symbolises a connection with the earth.
In my painting 'the Shelter of Time', the girl is wearing galoshes and I feel like she is a young human girl. We humans think of ourselves as separate from nature, but that illusion can be not as strong in children and adolescents.
On the other hand, Bee Girl wears no shoes and I think she is a liminal creature, standing between dimensions. Perhaps she has that mysterious connection that remains with some young children before they are conditioned out of it.
Whereas in a painting such as 'i Wait', I think she is scarcely human at all. Closer to what we call a nature spirit.
So is the woman in 'will they Remember us' a liminal person, someone who feels that connection with nature more than her more socialised brothers and sisters? Perhaps she shares a human mother but feels different, even outside normal human society and is more at home in wild nature.