So I passed on the whale steak and captured the red staircase instead to take home in my camera. Good decision 'cause I still enjoy seeing its graphic details. Commercial whaling has been part of Norwegian culture for centuries. The name of the restaurant reflects its past as a landside post for that trade. Commercial whaling in Norway rarely takes more than a third of their annual quota to protect the Minke resource and because the meat is contaminated with persistent toxins like PCBs and Mercury. This piece is a big artistic PIVOT for me!
For many years my artwork has been largely ice cream colors, the subject matter highly recognizable, more curving and delicate of line. With a significant shift in how I see things, I'm moving toward sharper angles, stronger lines, bolder and more intense color. It didn't happen in a vacuum but began with an image on my website called Polarlys that had some of my usual curving, pastel lines but also featured an invert sharp point near the bottom with a subject matter that isn't obvious. It wasn't until I re-cropped and re-touched that image that I discovered how abstract it seemed. When what you've been doing works, you may ask, "Why shift into something new?”
Over the past year we've all had to relearn many things including how to operate in new ways, how to communicate without direct contact, how to lose the familiar with no choice about the sudden, abrupt change in direction. I've moved as required by circumstance and that includes my artwork. Sensing something interesting and different, I found another image similar to Polarlys and remade it. That's what you see here--called Hval Huset or Whale House--all dark, saturated and abstract, my first deliberate effort in the new direction. The stair steps may be apparent but that's not what this image is about. It's the lines and saturated colors that are the subject matter with a larger message about the whaling industry with its own dark and blood red impression.
It’s such a departure for me that I put it on a wall template to give it scope. I'm not sure what I think of it, just that I'll do more in future to gauge what's possible and where it can go. I'd love to know your impression and how it strikes you. Leave a comment below or use Contact
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