Sighting With Clues – double sided: front-oil on panel; back-collage and copper; 10 ix 10 x 1 in.
“…behind each shape more than the past appeared and what streamed out before us was not the future….” Rainer Maria Rilke: The Duino Elegies
These double-sided paintings are the result of a fellowship from The Oregon Arts Commission in 2005 for a painting residency in Worpswede, an artist's colony in northern Germany where my father was born. These images are the result of glimpses of people who seemed to resemble members of my family as they walked along the shore of the Baltic Sea. The subject became that of an artist in pursuit of an image, idea, or memory in need of translation. In each painting, one figure disappears or carries the residue of an image from another painting, suggesting that meaning and memory are elusive, surviving within us as illusions.
The collaged backs are inexact verbal reflections of the fronts compiled from photographs, documents, fragments of poetry, dreams, and descriptions.
In a catalogue essay, Victoria Ellison, Seattle artist and art critic, writes that "The scale, handcrafted care, and symbolism of each panel recall altarpieces or icons, and even more, the intensely personal narratives of Latin American retablos representing saints and the painter's deepest wishes.
The paintings may be hung from the ceiling with leader or thin copper wire so that both sides can be seen. Alternatively, they can be set on pedestals.
© Trude Parkinson