Thursday 9 September 2010

The Sea, the Sea

Golden Wave, by Piers Browne
What is it about the seaside? Is there anyone who does not feel liberated and uplifted by standing on the shore and looking out to sea? Feet planted on the rocks, gazing at the living waters, breathing the charged air, seeing the horizon-line where the sea meets the sky... just add a bonfire, or stars overhead, and all the archetypal elements are represented - as though we were present at the creation of the world. Piers Browne's paintings at Art Jericho in September captured this experience, and particularly the beautiful radiance of light on the ocean; evoking not just the origins of the mundane world but somehow the promise of paradise on earth. I suspect this is the effect that Monet was seeking in his exploration of waterlilies and haystacks and the canals of Venice - the intuition of an eternal heaven glimpsed in the transient effects of sunshine on air and water.

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