Intricacy and bold mark making side by side over a deep red velvet. A multicoloured pointillist covering of marks with accents of metallics, pearl and deep glitters that have iridescent rainbow hues running through.
In different lighting, daylight, artificial, sunlight, low light, this painting speaks a different language, a different kind of bliss with each. Sometimes blinging and zinging with reflected twinkles and glitterings, truly celebratory!
A Vulture in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage?
Acrylic on canvas
H24 x W16 inches
H60 x W40 cm
And now for something completely different!
I started this acrylic on canvas painting early 2020 and have finally finished it:) Had Covid not happened I don't know whether I would have stayed inside and in one position for so very long!
But I had more time on my hands and had been thinking about this painting for a while. To complete it I had to step back to the beginning of my journey into painting. Before I went to college after years of other work and different circumstances I used to draw and paint in my rare spare time, in a more traditional way….and I miss it. It was like a meditation making the work, in a world of my own while the real world was in tumult.
Making this work helped focus and centre me just when I needed it and I am so grateful to this painting for that. For this reason the original painting is going to stay with me but I could always paint a similar one for you?
So what's it about?
The title is a corruption from William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” specifically the line "A Robin Redbreast in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage". The poem consists of a series of paradoxes in which Blake juxtaposes innocence with evil and corruption. The word augury in the title means omen or token, and the robin is the poem’s first noted “augury of innocence.”
The robin’s song, personality, and countenance are such that Blake saw the act of putting one in a cage as not only an enraging violation but also as a profound perversion of holiness.
So the full title for this painting is Would a Vulture in a Cage put all of Heaven in a Rage? By swapping Blake's robin with a vulture and placing a tiny robin below and outside the cage I was thinking about Innocence and Beauty/Ugliness, the often unfounded association of beauty with virtue and ugly with degradation. How much are we influenced with subjective ideas of physical beauty being equated with innocence, goodness and purity, if so, what hope and pity for the vulture if she ends up in a cage?
I wanted the painting to have an old fairy tale look and feel to it, one of those Grimm's tales that carry a dark warning and told in dark woods and candlelit castles, something that Rumplestiltskin may have on his wall? The cage was inspired by an antique French design that I have altered somewhat to create unwieldy and slightly off proportions.
I hope you enjoy the work :)