I created this painting over the course of several weeks in May/June 2020. My household was starting it’s 3rd months of quarantine when George Floyd was killed and the street protests began. Unable to get out to march, I stayed in my studio and worked on this painting every day for a month. I worked spontaneously and intuitively, meaning, I worked from the heart without a big overarching plan or design. What’s on the canvas are the unedited marks expressing in real time, day to day, my feelings about the trajectory of humanity. The painting’s narrative starts at the bottom left, with our earliest beginnings as a species. There are symbols and marks in there that have meaning dating back to Paleolithic art. Moving upward we find ourselves in a natural utopia of animals, plants and waterfalls, with a godlike figure holding the sun in one hand and gesturing to the moon and heavens with the other. We swiftly move across the space to another world where darkness, guns, industry, pollution, walls, incarcerated faceless people and military hardware take over, moving from top to bottom towards an as-yet undefined future. Gods of Earth vs Gods of Metal. Climate change, pandemic viruses, poverty, riots and war are the natural symptoms of idolizing the Gods of Metal.
Can we change course?
Gods of earth and food Gods of metal and blood God built the Rainbow To help us bridge the flood. Gods of nature, Gods of blight- We sit in darkness But pray for light. Tear gas presidents, Poems painted on roadways; Gunshots in the alleys, Angels in the words we say. A baby’s first laugh, A world in disarray: Every minute is night, Every minute is day. Threatened by all things, Threatened by Cain- We break the covenant Again and again. Gods of nature, Gods of blight. Gods made from darkness, Gods made from light. Our oldest stories tell of Black and White, Blindness and Sight, Might against Right. We must face the forest to find the light, All of our fears despite, To seize the day and end the night. ~s.stone 2020
“Gods of Earth and Metal”
Completed June 2020.
Size and Media:
51″ wide x 72″ high, triptych panels painted with oil over acrylic on unstretched canvas on jute-wrapped wood batten. Poem hand painted on primed canvas. Pendent assemblage construction made of 2 sided hand-painted wood medallions (fire on one side, bees on the other) seashells and bullet shell, held with grommets, jute, twine, brass swivels.