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Archive for July 19th, 2010

Galliard

As I normally do in the weeks before a show, I’m featuring new work from a show in my blog posts.  The show this time is one called New Days that opens Thursday with an opening at the West End Gallery in Corning.  Today’s painting is one called Galliard, a 13″ by 13″ painting on paper.

When I had finished this piece and began to search for a title, I focused on the intertwined trees.  I’ve often used dance terms to describe the way they seem to hold each in these paintings and this piece definitely had the feel of dance for me.  So I began to search for a term that captured this painting. 

I came across the term galliard and, without even knowing what the term meant, immediately felt pulled to the word.  It has a rhythm in its pronunciation that struck me.  It just sounded right.  Looking further, I discover that the galliard was a lively Renaissance dance, said to be a favorite of Elizabeth I.  There is one section of the dance called lavolta that involved the couple in an intimate hold where the woman is lifted in the air as they do about a 3/4 turn.  It was considered pretty scandalous at the time.  The Lambada of the Renaissance, if you will.

It fit though.  There is a sense of intimacy in the two trees.  The open, airy space in which they perform the dance represents a liberation of sorts for me, as though they hold no shame for their dance of devotion for one another.  The red in the trees gives it a feeling of passion set against the fertile lushness of the green in the foreground. 

So, in this case, the sound and meaning of the title worked for me.  Perhaps the title and the painting itself are performing a dance…

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