Spirit Symphony (Triptych)

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Product Information:

Year: 2013
Medium: Mixed Medium on Canvas
Size: 100 x 100 cm (x3)
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Spirit Symphony is a contemporary semi-abstract artwork, a bold and colorful triptych, with rich textured surfaces, which have been created through multiple layers of paint, contrasted against areas of smooth paint, that push and pull. The eye is entertained, by the contrast in surface applications as well as by the abstracted and recognizable images that together become a unique surface, with a strong narrative.

There is a complexity in the thinking and creating of Spirit Symphony. In Spirit Symphony 4, an image of a beautifully executed opera singer can be seen, she echoes across the surfaces of Spirit Symphony 3 and 4, her image both apparent and yet abstracted by the surface disruption of digital distortion and static. In Spirit Symphony 5, her images dissolve completely into digital static, however, her sound has been heard and listened for, by the image of a listening woman, painted in muted, quiet tones who holds a vintage ear trumpet to her ear, eternally listening for the sound of the opera singer. 

I had wanted to make sound visible and chose an opera singer because of the level of sound achieved vocally. The high frequency of sound achieved by an opera singer has the capacity to change the molecular structure of glass, causing it to break. We do not see sound itself, but we can see the effect of sound. Metaphorically this is seen as sound has the ability to create. (What we say about ourselves, and about our lives, we have the ability to create that reality. Our own sound can change molecular structure, and can change reality.) Sound also has a relationship with silence and is made apparent through silence. 

The echo of the opera singer through digital distortion and static also references the Doppler effect, which is a scientific principle, described as, the further you move further away from the source of sound the less you will hear. Metaphorically, this forms a parallel for hearing spiritually. The further you are away from your spiritual source the less you will hear. 

This artwork speaks about the ability of sound to create change, as well as listening for and observing that which we listen to, especially spiritually. Static and digital distortion speak about being ‘ tuned in “ or “ tuned out”, particularly in regard to spiritual clarity. Listening for spiritual clarity, through digital static and distortion, which references the complexities of the world we live in, the voice of multiple dialogues regarding many complex issues on the world stage, money, politics, war, pandemics, and religion to name a few.


Captcha ColourInto the LightKaren Tearnan CullinanKaren Tearnan Cullinan Africonic

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    Printed in South Africa with love ♥