It’s October, Springtime in Adelaide. The forecast for the next few days is 33 degrees Celsius. Beautiful! I step out into my back garden listening to the cawing and loud calling of the Galahs and Cockatoos from the gum trees. I should have known they were trying to warn me – “ Lynn it’s Springtime, all the creepy crawlies, slithery and hairy creatures are waking up after Winter!! ” Oh Yes they sure are. I walk into my art room to grab my favourite little paint brush from the container on the shelf and as I grabbed it a HUNTSMAN SPIDER ran down the brushes. I got THE FRIGHT OF MY LIFE. It was just so quick. And hairy. And brown. And Leggy. Just staring at me. I nearly decided to book a flight back to Ireland. After staring at it for several seconds I realised this spider wasn’t going to leap off the shelf to attack me even though it was the size of my hand. Thank God. In fact I think it was smiling at me! Happy days, I get to live another day and paint and drink coffee.
Dots have been appearing purposefully in my paintings a lot more recently. I’ve been into the South Australian Museum and Art Gallery on North Terrace in Adelaide many times since moving here, to learn and immerse myself in my local Australian History and Culture. Aboriginal culture is incredibly decorative and creative with coloured, layered dot designs featuring heavily on canvas paintings since the 1970’s.
In Ireland, dot designs can be found in the ancient Celtic History and Culture too. Around 800AD, Celtic monks created a manuscript called The book of Kells. It contains four Gospels of the New Testament illustrated decoratively with calligraphy and pen drawings. Red dots can be seen outlining borders, figures of people and animals on many pages. Interestingly, another dot design featured heavily is of three dots together. This design represents the Trinity, God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
The photograph above is a close up of my painting Fragment. The dot designs I’ve incorporated help me to incorporate my Irish past with my Australian future. These dots connect me to something greater especially if I feel isolated or if my past seems fragmented to me.