Archive for April 19th, 2013

GC Myers- Island of Souls  Called Island of Souls, this painting, 16″ by 26″ on paper, uses the isolation of an island as its central theme.  I am not sure if my photography on this particular piece accurately captures the true color and feel of this piece so I may have to re-shoot this.  But this image does get most of what is important so I will get on with it.

The idea of an island has always intrigued me.  I think it comes from the paradox of perception that comes with them.  The isolation offers escape and safe haven from the outer world on one hand but at the same time has a sense of captivity and limitation on the other.  As an artist my working life is spent on such an island, either safely ensconced in the quiet safety of my studio or trapped in a self-made prison, depending on your viewpoint.

A lot of artists have trouble with this isolation but for me it has always been preferable.  I always think of  the film Papillon where inmate Louis Dega, played by Dustin Hoffman, finally accepts and adapts to his fate on Devil’s Island, the penal colony off the coast of French Guiana.  He eventually lives in a little hut away from the others and lives a quiet and simple life until the end of his life there.  I have always thought that , outside it being forced upon him as punishment, it was an existence to which  many  people might aspire, living on a tropical island with little to worry about from the outside world.

Maybe that’s what I see here.  I suppose it could be seen as some sort of a prison with the cluster of huts on a rocky island with a dock and no visible boat.  I tend to see it in more aspirational terms, as a place of peace with a sense of tranquility in the colors of this piece that complements this reading of this picture for me.

One man’s penal colony is another man’s paradise.

Here’s a song of the same name from Sting.  It’s from his 1991 album The Soul Cages and uses the island as a dreamed of place of escape for the boat builders of Newcastle as they toil over the great ships that they will never sail on.

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