Monday, June 8, 2009

My New painting is based on 'The Wasteland' by T S Eliot

This painting in progress is based on 'The Wasteland' by Eliot. Especially the first part of the poem, 'The Burial of the Dead'. The following lines present the key visual image;

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying "Stetson!
"You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
"That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
"Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
"Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
"Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
"Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
"You! hypocrite lecteur! - mon semblable, - mon frere!"

Time place and cultures merge in my visual reading of 'The burial of the dead'. I plan to title the work as 'Unreal City'. Stetson from the Battle of Mylae talking to a soldier from the first world war is the compelling inspiration for this painting. This image drives home the important message that all war is one war, equally nonsensical. I plan to dehumanize Stetson and the World War I soldier.

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