These new paintings created in a style reminiscent of fresco are imbued with both a gravitas and a luminous sense of timelessness. Ultimately they offer an insight into both the mysterious nature of art and what it is to be human. The work achieves a striking synthesis of the figurative and abstract that marks a significant milestone in Colin’s development as an artist and if it is possible to see the inspiration of Giotto, Delacroix and particularly Poussin, it is also evident that there is something uniquely original in the artist’s vision. Whether set in Morocco or in the forest, the paintings share a unity of symbolic language and compositional principles as human life plays out against backgrounds that are essential elements in the narrative unfolding before us. And as someone who has spent his life constructing narratives in words I am drawn irresistibly deeper and deeper into the mystery of these images. Like all true stories they offer clues but withhold something that can only be accessed through our own emotional engagement and the quickening of the imagination.
The courtyards and open doorways of the Moroccan paintings invite us to enter and yet their darkness also evokes our apprehension. Elsewhere we encounter images of both attraction and anxiety but perhaps the most profound and overarching emotion that permeates so much of this collection is that of tenderness, an overwhelming tenderness that reaches out across time and space, bridging what holds each of us separate and offering a transcendent vision of the human heart.
David Park, 2014.
David Park is an award-winning writer from the North of Ireland. His current novel ‘The Poets’ Wives’ is published by Bloomsbury.