Canker – ongoing

The painting is by an extraordinary woman whose husband wanted to name their son Farquhar….. The hairy lumpen sphere is from half-light notes on her father. I love this painting for its resistance to interpretation. There is flatness and depth, movement and stasis, texture and a colour I connect to my grandmother. It is clearly of some things that may or may not be depicted as occupying three-dimensional space.

They are mysterious, hairy things and they are moving. This is enough. I am happy to remain suspended in a state of curiosity. If I were told, for example, that these things are actually Marumo (River Balls or Moss Balls) with sprouting shoots the paintings delicious frisson would dissipate. Imagine my astonishment, when I asked three of my most visually aware friends, what they thought of when looking at the painting and they all replied ‘onions’. No! Banish the thought. I cannot accept that. They are hairy and alive, in flux and perhaps with vaporous traits. We are inclined to recognise representation based on the fact that the depicted image resonates with some previous observation or experience. I am compelled to allow that the resemblance is there but for me it remains nothing and unknowable and something that I can never fully comprehend and will remain so.