12/09/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
As I stood looking at the “Victorian Art” collection (at the newly-refurbished Auckland Art Gallery), it struck me about the longevity of a piece of art. Sure, one day the artwork will disintegrate, crumble or fade, as all things temporal will eventually do, but – for a time – we are able to enjoy a glimpse into the artist’s history. It is as if we are sharing a little bit of the artist themselves – who they were, what they were like, how they thought about life and the state of their emotions.
It was easy to imagine, as I stood in front of a particularly large work, the artist doing the same – standing in front of their painting, working on every brush stroke, expressing their love/angst/peace/political views through their brush.
Though the artist is now long-deceased, their work still remains, often looking as fresh as the day it was finished. It is little eerie to share – in such a way – a tangible snapshot of the artist’s legacy. The Bible says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). I think that goes the same for the brush too. Makes me wonder what kind of an auto-biography I am leaving with my own artwork…now, there’s a challenge!