'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Temple of the Midwinter Sun

Temple of the Midwinter Sun © Sue Wookey

Another new painting which I'll be exhibiting at our September Open Studios at Artscape (see the post below). This painting is really a companion piece to The Temple of the Moon and shows the sun rising on the morning of the Winter Solstice. This always brings the promise of new life and new birth as the year finally turns and the days get longer. This promise of life is reflected in the mysterious appearance of an 'egg' in the centre of the painting with the sun as its yolk. Mysterious because I didn't put it there deliberately, it just appeared - much to my surprise! I was sitting looking at the nearly finished work and had one of those 'Hey! What the heck!' moments when my eyes clocked it. Sometimes the Muse is very, very tricksy and likes to put in that little bit extra. Inspiration, eh? You just never know what's going to happen.

The double spirals on the stone - found carved at many prehistoric sites - track the winding course of the sun through each year, as is declines and increases. And I've made the trees beeches because everyone knows that sometimes beeches have 'eyes' in their trunks, so they make good Guardians for this mysterious place!

The words around the border are written by me and read:

The Sun rises and the world rises from darkness with him. 
The seed of every seed, King of green and gold, 
even the grass drinks from his Golden Bowl. - SW

The Temple of the Midwinter sun is available as limited edition giclee prints from my website at Galley Hill Art

One of those beeches that you just know is looking at you:

© Sue Wookey

Friday, 16 August 2013

Coming exhibitions!

Herts Open Studios
Artscape, Harpenden
September 2013

This year we will once again be exhibiting as Artscape Arts at Artscape in Harpenden (click on the poster above for a bigger version) and, as always, will be holding a month long Exhibition with Open Studio Days:

Exhibition 2nd - 28th September (except Sundays and during classes)
Open Studios 7th, 13th/14th, 18th, 20th/21st, 27th/28th Sept
Sat 2.30pm - 5.30pm,  Wed/Fri 1pm - 5pm

This year's Artscape Arts group will be myself (paintings and photography), Teresa Newham (paintings, prints and photography), Hillary Taylor (drawing, mixed media and photography), Judi Menges (glass) and Pauline Ashley (ceramics and china restoration).

Unit 8, Southdown Industrial Estate

Full Open Studios information and online brochure available from the HVA Website.

ANB September Art Trail
Red Dot Gallery 
21-22, 28-29 September

The Artists Network Bedfordshire are exhibiting around the County throughout September, and I'll be taking part in an exhibition at the Red Dot Gallery on the weekends of the 21st - 22nd and 28th - 29th September, 11am to 4 pm. 

The Red Dot Gallery
Icknield School
Riddy Land
Luton LU3 2AH

Full information is available from the ANB Website.

September is going to be a very busy month!!!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life © Sue Wookey

OK - I know this is a bit ambitious, but I had this sudden idea (one of those challenging inspirational flashes) of combining all the Trees I'd painted into One Tree. As soon as I had the idea I could see it complete, but working it out on paper was another matter! Sometimes the Muse can be very tricksy.

The Trees I've painted have all followed a progression. Many years ago I fell in love with a photo I saw of an 17th century Indian Chola bronze of the Tree of Life. The stylised shape haunted me and I did a painting inspired by it:

 Indian Tree © Sue Wookey
When I finally got around to working as a full-time artist, I repainted it as the Indian Tree of Life and Knowledge and this same simple shape can be seen in the centre of my new painting, like an archetype or seed at the centre of the Tree. The Tree of Life is a symbolic representation of all manifest life, the Many growing into being from the centre and source of all things, the One. Divine Being knowing and being known through the created universe.

The Indian Tree of Life and Knowledge © Sue Wookey

My next Tree was a development of this seemingly simple image into a more realistic looking Tree which I called Balance, showing the balance of opposites held in harmony. A Yin Yang where something can only be truly known in relation to its counterpoint: light/dark, sun/moon, up/down, good/bad. Without the counterpoint nothing can really exist because it cannot be held in relation to anything. Understood and held in balance these forces bring wisdom.

Balance © Sue Wookey

Balance can be seen as the second Tree in the new painting above. The third Tree is based on The Golden Seed, the Tree bearing fruit. In the Golden Seed, the fruit is shown as Suns and Moons. In my new painting I've shown it as Golden Apples. I could write a whole book on Apple symbolism! This is the Tree bearing life. Told you this was ambitious!

The Golden Seed © Sue Wookey

The final Tree is based on the World Tree, our manifest world and the most realistic Tree in the painting. The trunks of all four trees are contained one inside another and all the Trees progress outwards from the centre of the painting in a series of circles or worlds, from the Source to our cosmos. I have another Tree, the Cosmic Tree of Life, but I decided I'd put in enough Trees for one painting! Art would be so much easier if I stopped trying to paint Life, the Universe and Everything, but these Trees will keep pushing their way into the light and I am sure there are more Trees to come - though I'm really not sure where one goes from here!

World Tree © Sue Wookey

Limited edition giclee prints of The Tree of Life (and all the others) can be bought from my website at Galley Hill Art