Last week I was the featured artist for First Thursday Artist Talk at the Surrey Art Gallery. The topic was my symbolic use of colour, pattern, numbers and archetypes in my series With Sturdy Shoes. Thanks to the timely advice of an acquaintance who is a keynote speaker involved with Toastmasters, I was able to overcome my abject fear of public speaking and spoke with ease about my work in front of the audience - thank you David Bayley!
For nearly 10 years now I've incorporated the symbolic elements mentioned above in my works and over time they've evolved into a visual language that expresses the deeper meanings behind my images. For the benefit of interested folks attending my exhibitions, I have a binder filled with images of my works together with the interpretation of the symbolism I've used; when I sell a work or print I give a copy to the purchaser. Collectors and viewers have expressed a great appreciation for my interpretations - I hope you enjoy this one for Mask:
This work is a celebration of diversity within community: there are seven houses in a row - they represent the seven days of the week and therefore every day - they refer to every day in the community they form, leaning against one another for support; the many leaves behind the houses represent growth - emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth that paves the way for understanding and tolerance; the leaves are all the colours of the rainbow, representing the diverse members of the community living together in harmony despite differences of ethnicity, religion, culture, politics, socio-economic situations, and physical and mental abilities. The foundation layer is covered in gold leaf as an homage to the mask traditions of Venice. The similarity of the houses mask the underlying diversity.