Oil on Canvas Sheet 9.5 x 12in (24 x 30cm)
These two old friends have been in my family for a long time. You might take them for representing Beauty and Utility. But in fact, no one has ever known what to put in the red lacquered box, and, while inviting something exotic -- old maps, forgotten wills, love letters -- it remains empty. The blue of the vase is indeed exquisite (not of course done justice to in my painting). The vase has lived dangerously since the 18th century, perched precariously on its elaborately carved stand. Both objects have, for me, what certain South Sea islanders call 'baraka' -- a power instilled by years of human handling and affection.
This was my submission to Alice Thompson's Calypso Moon Artist Movement challenge for March 2010.