Monday, October 27, 2008

Remember, you are only form

Some figurative paintings by Toss Woollaston on a wall.
I like these. A self-portrait from 1976; Edith at the piano;
a young man called Jeremy Classen on a rocky slope.
The human figures are so blended with their environment
that you can’t tell where they end and it starts. This art
tells us the physical truth about ourselves, namely, that
the matter of which we are made varies only in form—and
even then by not much—from all other matter. The same
spirit animates all. There is in fact no such thing as "the
environment” supposedly existing apart from us human
beings. We are as much a part of it as the leaves on the
trees or the worms in the soil. Even to speak of “nature”
betrays a modern urban consciousness.

In Woollaston’s painting Edith and the piano are one; the
man is the mountainside is the man. The artist himself is
the world.

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