Whilst on my last visit an artist friend came to view the Chapel. She kindly offered these observations:
Nothing could have quite prepared me for the experience of stepping into the chapel… even though Susan’s drawings, photos and descriptions are truly evocative, the overall impression was quite overwhelming for me. A heady mixture of profound decay; an absurd theatrical setting (a large table and velvet chairs in front of the altar); a jiving Jesus above the altar and a pieta underneath it … and debris, humid salt air that catches your throat everywhere. Suffering and somewhat feeble attempts at the sublime. Susan’s matter of fact comments on the ‘tacky’ plaster sculptures shook me out of my ‘lapsed catholic’ trance. Decay, suffering and beauty in unexpected places.
I am reminded how there is always more than one perspective.
I write this from my balcony in Greece, looking out to an unusually leaden sea and sky. I have brought my mineral paints to further explore the materials. I am enjoying the process. It is only by playing that you get to appreciate the possibilities and limitations.
The grainy Bloodstone floats on the surface disturbed by the slightest attention.
The Rhodonite finds it hard to compete with the Bloodstone.
I try painting a figurative subject, my view. The exercise is about revisiting the dried paint. Yupo paper feels like plastic. If you don’t like what you have done, wash it off and start again. Therein lies the major problem for someone who works with many layers to build the work.
Watercolour on Yupo, 14 x 14cms
Dropping clean water on top of the dried work the boundaries slide, so exact working seems almost impossible in my novice hands. Any contact with the dried work by wet brush moves or removes the dried paint.
Detail from the view. The white areas were easily created by removal, almost impossible without preplanning on watercolour paper. The green lines are naturally created from dried pools of Green Apatite mineral paint, carefully pipetted over the dried work.
Green Apatite is very much the colour of the Chapel for me, together with a deep rich red, which will need to be mixed from a combination of Red Fuchsite, Rhodonite and Garnet.
I am drawn to the decaying quality of the green.