This is one of my favourite pieces and I am glad that it didn’t sell when it was in an exhibition. It hangs on my wall in the sitting room, or what our Frida Kahlo has claimed as, her playroom. That means no TV. A sitting space beside the kitchen and living room area, where the cat plays.
This is about the fourth completed oil painting I’ve done, with loads started and sitting in various spaces around my home, all at different stages of completion. I have come to love oils almost more than any other media, but I have limited areas to use it. I love the smell, but not while I sleep. Other artworks and projects take over most of the house physically, but oil painting needs to be more isolated when I’m working with it. The garage studio isn’t always as workable an area as I would like, but I get in there when I can.
The ‘Age of Man’ is a study of the course of life. Gestation, infancy, adulthood, relationships and finally the aged. All these are represented as over drawings in oil on the main figure of the torso which embodies strength, yet the revealing of the heart offers the viewer a vulnerable side to the narrative. Life is vulnerable.
I frequently wonder what is it about vulnerability that is often so foreign to us. What makes it so hard to open up and share our stories with people? Why it’s so hard to sit and listen to someone’s vulnerability. The world has kicked into high speed. As much as we desire to grow up when we are young, and desire to be younger when we are older; when we are in our physically strongest time of our lives we are also the worst at being vulnerable. Maybe it’s an observation. Maybe it’s something I struggle with also.
I suppose at our peek, the last thing we want to be seen as is weak. It makes us susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon according to the dictionary. It leaves us open to moral attack, criticism and temptation and who wants that. There is, however, great strength in allowing ourselves to become vulnerable. But not with everyone.
I am thankful for those who I have had and have the privilege to be vulnerable with. They ask the tough questions, they challenge with kindness the things that I need to be challenged on, they encourage and support where I think I am failing. I don’t know where I would be without those who are and have journeyed through life with me and mentors, as friends.
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
There is strength in vulnerability. who do you let your guard down with helps to refine you and strengthen you?