Warning: This blog may contain nuts.
It will be a random selection of musings through time and space that will have no logical reasoning, probably. Where to begin?
Late 'sixties - the summer of love. All you need is love. Love is all you need. Well you get the picture. I was at Cambridge Art School - Syd Barratt in the year above had moved to London and Pink Floyd played at the Christmas party for about five shillings and a free hot dog. Most weekends I could be found strolling along the Kings Road from Sloane Square to World's End via "Granny Takes a Trip" and "The Chelsea Antiques Market", wearing a kaftan and beads.
February 1968 and I look enviously at The Beatles in their kaftans and beads sitting at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his Ashram in India - the peace, the love, the colours, the sunshine, the whole Thing of it. I wanted to be there. I couldn't afford it. After art school I made a left turn and ended up sitting at the feet of the Maharishi Warhol Yogi at his Factory Ashram in Union Square, New York - but maybe I'll come back to that at a later date. The point is I finally made it to India just last year albeit a tiny corner of it on the southernmost tip - Kerala, formerly an area known as the Malabar Spice Coast.
The state motto is "God's Own Country" and you can see why. It may be a slightly overblown statement but there is no denying the natural beauty. Stunning pastoral landscapes covered in tea plantations, coffee, bananas, rubber trees, coconut trees, pepper trees, cashew trees, kapok trees, acacia trees, jacaranda trees, tulip trees, teak trees - there are a lot of trees in Kerala, and beautiful people. Inspirational and inspiring.
This trip is now forming the basis of my next exhibition of oil paintings at the Francis Kyle Gallery in Mayfair, London, probably later this year. I will be posting images of work at intervals. The first (above) is "Ellapatti 2" 80 x 150 cm.
6000 feet up a mountain in the Western Ghats near the border of Tamil Nadu in equatorial forest on a little hotel veranda overlooking miles and miles of rolling hills as the sun went down, listening to the tremendous racket of the crickets and frogs, (sipping a Kingfisher beer) inspired the following poem:
Cloying, the very stickiness of it clinging
to her skin. Sitting still she felt the air cool
as evening shadows of acacia and jacaranda
lengthened over slopes of shimmering cardomom.
Below, on the rust red track that wove between
the trees she saw Anish returning from temple.
A flourescent trail of dust raised by his naked feet,
the skirts of his dhoti delicately held aloft
in his fingertips, the sinews proud on his muscular arms.
Across the valley the landscape became punctuated
by pinprick lights of lanterns. Soon the crickets
ceased their melancholy symphony and a silence
as heavy as the burden of all knowledge lay upon the darkness.
Her eyes, black and round as pebbles rolling
in the deepest oceans became moist, and as she turned
from the veranda she felt the first tears on her cheek.