Monday November 27th, 2006
After more than a month of preparation, I'm ready to actually begin painting. The construction, took longer due to the cold weather but the real delay has been in finalizing the composition.
As in the accepted proposal, two 4 x 5' paintings are hanging side by side in landscape orientation. Each is filled with vertical bands of color, representing people passing through the airport. The left painting is titled "Departures" and the right, "Arrivals".
The real joy has been incorporating golden proportions of 1 : 1.618 throughout the composition. Most obviously, the canvas area is segmented into 576 golden rectangles 2.5" wide by 4" tall. Each rectangle will in turn, house a representation of one person either painted in silhouette, carved in line relief or abstracted into an organic shape. Various golden rectangles may also be grouped into families of larger golden rectangles, most commonly 4 (2x2) at 5 x 8" or 9 (3x3) at 7.5 x 12". [Not incidentally, the two canvases would make one giant golden rectangle if placed one on top of the other at 5 x 8'.] Superimposed over the entire 10 foot span will be an arch of white rectangles ascending the first canvas and descending the second, giving the work it's title, distance-value and multiple meanings.
The composition's underlying foundation is a reminder that airports are filled with real people with real stories. Structure and organization insure safe, dependable travel but human beings give an airport it's vitality and worth. The golden proportions, arch (also pyramid and sine wave) reference divine intervention, the sun's journey across the sky in a solar year and spiritual themes of resonance and rebirth.
The space between the hanging finished work will be critical as it represents the time people are suspended in the air during travel (between terminals). My thinking is this should be close to 2 1/2, 5 or 10 inches to preserve the golden proportions as closely as possible.
On a personal note, I've experienced more random acts of kindness in airports than anywhere else. Is it the expectation of adventure, the mutual bond of fear in uncertainty or the exclusivity of traveling by air and seeing the world from a fresh perspective? I don't know but I'm happy to be part of it.
Now, I put the brush to canvas. The rest is color and texture. I have one month to finish.