Still life – a contemporary view

Apples in the washbowl   oil on canvas – 50cm x 50cm – SOLD

‘Still Life’ as a discipline can be a fascinating subject. Life however, is never still, it moves on determinedly all the time from life to death, death being another element in the passage of time. A moment can be captured in a photograph or a painting, however, that object itself will wither and degrade, and whatever the object, time is patient. In fact that very painting or photograph will then wither and degrade. Taken literally, there is no such thing in terms of representation as ‘still life’ – I prefer to think of it as a ‘glimpse of life’, a moment in time. For me it is more dynamic than just ‘an arrangement of inanimate objects’, for me it tells of the inevitable story of things moving from one state to another.

So, apples in the washbowl – the bright fresh fruits, promising much, and full of energy.

Life is transient, and the pips in the bottom right corner show that the apples will soon be consumed. On the other hand, one tries to keep things for the future, the moth which has alighted on one of the apples, signifies that sometimes things fail. Apples may moulder in their box, moths may come in and destroy. A rather symbolic work under the surface, a picture which imparts a message, not just an image. Messages of course can be interpreted in many different ways. Ultimately, time is the topic here, not apples. You could view it negatively – time is immoveable, unchangeable, it is fruitless to try to arrest the action of things moving from one state to another, living, ageing and dying. You could view it positively – if time did not move relentlessly on, there would be no impetus to live life fully, with all the time in the world there may be nothing to rouse one to activity and to enjoy. Carpe diem. Sieze the day.

To see a wider range of ‘Still Life’ paintings, click here

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