Putting some ideas into practice

Fusion paintings

A busy few days has seen the central panel of the picture mounted in one of the bays of the gallery. Visitors may easily see the progress.

The central panel 8′ x 4′ will form the centre of a larger picture that may take its place on the ceiling of the gallery.

Its subject is the 20th century, leading to the enlightenment that is displayed on the north wall. It is a mystery that men who have behaved so badly can still have any redeeming features at all.

Painting in progress copyright Bernard Barnes

I am planning to add a ring of events surrounding the inner chaos. Events of momentous proportions, the wars, the great characters, the arts and cultural references. My original hurricane shape based on the vortex I am thinking of bearing the multiple images.

Preparatory Sketch copyright Bernard Barnes

Throughout the images I am looking for small bubbles of tranquillity where I can paste a small scene, an aside, a reference that together will all the rest paint a summary of a momentous century.

View of Gallery copyright Bernard Barnes

You may be able to see from these pictures that I have cut boards that fit around the edge of the central picture. It will be made up of pieces that I will fit together on the wall, but which I can work on separately on the easel.

Part of painting copyright Bernard Barnes

I am also beginning to adapt the central image, adding new ideas to fit the theme. I have been experimenting with an optical illusion that can be built out from the surface of the picture to give the illusion of an inner recession.

Here I am interested in suggesting the receding streets of fear exploited by Giorgio de Chirico in the surrealist paintings and it does add to the tension of the work.

This post originally appeared on stjohnshallgallery.com on 24th Sept 2017. It has been given the same date, but was added here on 11th October 2017.