can I tell? pretty please?…

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15/12/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

One of my Facebook Friends (and previous inspirees) messaged me asking if I was happy for people to know what my paintings mean. It’s certainly something I have internally debated quite a bit. Here is my reply:

“[I am happy for people to know] to an extent…it’s a tough one really. Some of the messages [and background history] in the paintings are highly personal…the depth of which is known only between me and the person who inspires the painting.

I am absolutely fine with the inspiree telling others as much as they like, but if I were to tell the whole story (especially without permission or foreknowledge from that person) it would be almost like betraying a trust.

Sometimes I can – publicly – tell part of the story quite happily, and sometimes I can tell the whole story as the message is super-simple (such as with Canvases 5, 9 and 10).

The flip side is that I would also like folks to be able to read into the paintings what they will. It’s amazing the different interpretations that people have for a piece, and I think that is one of the wonders of “art”, which is just fine with me.

That is how my brain has rationalised the situation at the moment. Maybe I am misguided and will be convinced otherwise at a later time? Maybe I am bang on target and the full stories will forever remain a mystery!”

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Sarah Ritchie
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