Friday 24 November 2017

Picturing the human condition - William Arkle

The above picture is by William Arkle -

It is an early oil painting from the 1950s that shows his vision of the human condition was already 'in place' from early adult life; including the characteristic motifs such as the calm-faced divine presence, the enfolding hands, the posy of daisys (God's gift, patiently being offered to us), sailing boats, the teapot and cup (the everyday - transfigured by awareness of the divine) - and the characteristically-shaped tall-blobby trees, which he continued painting until late life.

Arkle's painting technique at this point is midway between a naive impressionism which seems to be his first favoured method - which made less use of symbols,

and the more detailed and worked paintings of later years.

Some of which became highly abstract...

Or fully-abstract...

 But the personal symbolism was never forgotten...

William Arkle's son Nick pointed out that the colour red almost disappeared from his father's palette over the years; which became mostly pinks, purples, yellows and an emphasis on turquoises - this was clearly deliberate and significant. Presumably it reflected Arkle's own visionary experience.

(In sum, the style and colours changed - the symbolism remained.)

 The above images (and scores more) can be found at:

No comments: