Thursday, August 14, 2014


Childhood Memory oil on linen 55 x 80 cm 2001 - 2002


Let's pull it apart!

Here are some meanings from Online Oxford Dictionaries

  • All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal:
  • A picture representing an area of countryside:
  • The distinctive features of a sphere of activity:

All a bit dry really. None of these descriptions give a clue to the dynamism, contention, potentiality, history, deep meaningfulness of 'landscape'.

I grew up in a landscape of treeless plains framed by endless flat horizons to the west and majestic mountain ranges in the far east. The sky, whether it was clear blue or stormy black, met the land with impact. Sheer geographical flatness drew the sky into an ongoing scape that lifted you to heaven at the same time as grounding with intent. As the seasons changed so did the colours: ploughed black soil, lush green seedlings and depending on winter or summer crops, the land seemed to blaze with colour, the deep reds of sorghum-to the shimmering gold of wheat-to the bright yellow of sunny sunflowers and more. The night sky was like gazing upon jewels seemingly flung at random across dark velvet. My childhood landscape was immense in more ways than one.

The above paragraph fulfils the first description of the word landscape; All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal:

The second dictionary description A picture representing an area of countryside: Well, this is where the last sentence of the above paragraph My childhood landscape was immense in more ways than one. comes into play. Why? Because, as an artist I paint the landscape. Over many years I have gone from literal depictions to more abstracted ones. And, now I have launched myself beyond the horizons of  my childhood environment, beyond even Earth's horizons, to tackle the penetrating perspectives offered by cosmology.

I often wonder if I'd be 'flying' about the cosmos viewing the universal 'landscape' if I had not experienced the distance and space of the flat plains of my childhood. The Australian landscape is immense, yet most people live close to the edge where sea and land meet. The long interior is sparsely inhabited. I remember many city or foreign visitors, to my family childhood home, becoming quite agitated by the distance and flatness. They felt vulnerable and looked forward to returning to their known, but more closely contained environments. Maybe living with and in the openness of a literally vast landscape engendered a kind of bravery in me to take 'flight'?  After all, there was literally nowhere to hide on the flat Pirrinuan Plain* [See below].
On My Travels I Saw oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm 2013

For me the literal landscape goes well beyond planet Earth. Indeed the first description above: All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal: does not discriminate between Earthly or other geographies. Yet, it is how and why we depict 'landscape', as described in description two, that propels 'landscape' into other realms beyond the literal.


This takes us to the third dictionary description of landscape The distinctive features of a sphere of activity: Yes, the word landscape is used to describe other kinds of human endeavour and activity eg: political landscape, landscape of the soul, spiritual/religious landscape, landscape architecture, historical landscape, legal landscape...and I am sure you can think of more. We also use other landscape linked words as descriptors ie: political terrain, safe harbour, life's road, rivers of consciousness, Operation Desert Storm and I am sure you can also think of more! 

So, now I am going to tie all three dictionary descriptions together. 

Regular readers know that I see the Universe as our environment. I am inspired by cosmological theories and discoveries of the vast and intimate distances of the Universe...and maybe the Multiverse. ..a massive 'landscape' indeed. For that reason I paint 'landscapes' that play with perspective, creating an ambiguity of place, space and time that hopefully induce the viewer to cast their imaginations beyond our Earthly home to our Universal horizons. 

I propose that the new and different perspectives cosmology offers humanity may provide ways to reflect on issues that currently seem overwhelming or problematic. One of these is the concept of land ownership and the history of war and conflict that surrounds it. With cosmic perspectives the idea of land ownership, with its incumbent borders and boundaries, seems to pale into insignificance. Even more thought provoking is that if we viewed land, and ownership of it, with cosmic perspectives, conflict and war become even more futile than we already acknowledge.
Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective oil on linen 90 x 137 cm

Imagine if land ownership, borders and boundaries did not exist, but were replaced with a custodial kind of imperative that humanity shared. Maybe concepts of state and nationhood would be renegotiated? Maybe war and conflict would be reduced, even significantly? The 'landscapes' I paint are not just depictions of scenery, although imagined, they are also quietly political. How? By drawing attention to new perspectives that have the potential to force major shifts in how we view ourselves and our planet, various dearly held paradigms, which are increasingly cumbersome in a global sense, may crumble. My quiet activism brings me to the third dictionary description of landscape The distinctive features of a sphere of activity: where I propose that my work sits within a political 'landscape' well as others!

I will go a little further to add that my quest to untether 'landscape' from Earth-bound horizons as well as my desire to untether the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life from traditional visual interpretations to reveal 21st century meaningfulness, are pursued with a sense of hopefulness. For me, hope and engendering it, are also imbued with political agency.
Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013

That brings me to my forthcoming exhibition
From Earth-Bound Horizons 
2 - 14 September here in Brisbane
Please visit the exhibition's site HERE

* The Pirrinuan Plain
My brother Wilfred Brimblecombe has a photography blog where he has uploaded images of Pirrinuan.
Dry Rain On The Pirrinuan Plain
Pirrinuan Railway Siding
Pirrinuan Paddocks in the 1980s
White Cloud Black Soil Distant Creek


Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Life Calling. Anyone There? Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2014
Life Calling. Anyone There?
What does this mean?
Regular readers will know I like to be ambiguous by implying multiple possibilities.
It's all about perspective...multiple perspectives, even experienced simultaneously!
One possibility is that 'life', in my painting's title, is humanity calling out to aliens living in other parts of the Universe. Indeed, the search for alien life is a serious investigation. It's actually got a name SETI [Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence] and there are various scientific research centres around the world, eg: the SETI Institute in California, USA. Please put some time aside to visit the SETI Institute's site to read about its activities, its history, the history of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and more. The Carl Sagan Centre sits under the umbrella of the SETI Institute. Its focus is on astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Its research seeks to understand the concept of habitability, on our planet and elsewhere in the solar system. [Carl Sagan Centre] If a planet's habitability seems to suggest life supporting systems, then there is the potential for not just simple life forms, but also intelligent us...or even less/more so...or differently so!
Another possibility is that 'life', in my painting's title, is not actually humanity calling! It might be extraterrestrially intelligent beings ie: aliens calling out, seeking a response from other intelligent beings. Who knows?
But 'life' in my painting's title could just mean LIFE of any kind, simple, complex, physical or not? Surely the impulse of... and for.... life is a kind of resonating communication of rhythm and imperative force...across the universe [and possibly the Multiverse]?
Life On Earth
While scientists search for signs of life, from the simple to the more complex, in the Universe, we humans could be accused of not listening to 'life' here on Earth. I wrote in a recent post TEAM HUMANITY:
War and conflict rage in various locations around the globe, causing death, mayhem, social destruction and more. Innocent victims are caught up in the horror, loosing life and limb, fleeing homes and seeking refuge in other places. Long term effects are equally as deplorable and damaging.

What can we do?

It seems blame, reprisals, sanctions, increased surveillance and threats are what 'we' do. It seems that escalation is the currency of the moment. A pervasive fear exists. Politics fails to offer hope.

There's a loss of faith in the human race...surely humanity can do better than this?

With increased technological abilities to communicate and observe I wonder if we are really 'hearing' what we are 'listening' to? What is fear obscuring? What is loss of hope camouflaging? Does the fast paced and insidious nature of technology really help us listen in a way that allows hearing? Indeed, conflict is often the result of feeling unheard. It makes us alien to each other, until we don't even know ourselves and the 'alien' lurks within.
Life Calling. Anyone There? Oil on linen 70 x 140 cm 2014 the painting. 'Life' is represented by the two trees. Yes, they are my interpretations of the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life symbol. The trees are connected by floating leaves. These are 'signals' of indeterminate nature...possibly? Yet, despite Earth-like landscapes, the viewer should not assume that either the foreground or the planet, are Earth. Indeed, the connected trees-of-life may represent communication between other life forms 'out there' on two other planets.
Yet, I've often written that I see landscape as a metaphor for the human psyche. The two landscapes in Life Calling. Anyone There? could be aspects of the human soul or the alienated 'self' attempting  reconnection in ways that go beyond technological imperatives, hence the suggestion of random leaves from the tree-of-life. The trees seem to sing into the wind, sending a lilting lullaby into space. The wind takes the lullaby to places known and unknown, seeking reconnection.
While life still calls...there is hope.
And, landscape is untethered from Earth-bound horizons, both physical and not!
Which takes me to my next solo exhibition:
2-14 September
Please check out all the details on the exhibition's page HERE

Please check out my last post
My last post was a celebratory one!
This August I have been Blogging for 8 years, posting once a week.
Please click HERE to read my post:
I am on Instagram @kathrynbrimblecombefox

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Me in my studio with Pale Blue Dot in progress; Note glass of bubbly! Yes, it's after 5 pm!
This painting will be in my next exhibition UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE

It's 8 years this August since I started my BLOG!

Initially I posted daily...well...that did not last long. Trying to write daily is really hard. Since those first few weeks, I have posted once a week.

Yes, once a week for 8 years!

Once a week is great. It's manageable and gives me time to think about my next post.

I really look forward to writing posts. Writing has now become an integral part of my creative process. As I write, new ideas for paintings either pop into my head or appear slowly through the mists of consciousness. Some of these ideas manifest in actual paintings!

I am very happy to report that my BLOG now receives over 3,000 visitors per month. It has been picked up by various online newsfeeds etc particularly with a science/art focus. I am very grateful to all my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and more recently Instagram followers/friends who 'like' and/or pass things on for me. Yes, I am a social media fiend/fan! And, I am a tail-ender of the Baby Boomer generation!


To celebrate my BLOG's birthday I thought I'd do a few things: Most popular post and those posts that have been widely spread around social media plus news of my forthcoming solo exhibition UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE, plus the Tattersall's $30,000 Landscape Art Prize and more!

1. The most popular post is COSMIC OUROBOROS
Seems like the ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail gets people excited. I LOVE this painting. Why? Because, there is no chance it will disappear into the décor! Plus, its known and unknown stories are there to be told.
Cosmic Ouroboros Oil on  linen 120 x 150 cm 2012
2. Here are a few posts that people on GOOGLE+ have spread around, a lot.
Followed by two very recent posts

And, I LOVE all the paintings in these posts too! Shared Landscape [below] poses questions about land ownership, territorial rights, boundaries and more. How does it pose questions? With its investigation of cosmic perspectives, I hope, it might make people think about the fact that we ALL call Earth home. Let's work together to sustain the planet rather than fight over bits of it. After all, there's nowhere else, at least for the long time being, for us to go!
Shared Landscape Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2014


  • I have again been invited to enter the Tattersall's Club $30,000 Landscape Art Prize. Shall keep you up to date on this. I deliver the painting on the 26th August and the winner is announced on 3rd September. Chris Saines, the Director of QAGOMA, is the judge this year.
  • My exhibition UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE opens its doors on Tuesday 2nd September at Graydon Gallery, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia. The gallery is a rental space, because until I attract a dealer, I will continue to exhibit in places like Graydon. It's actually a great space and my paintings, I think, look great hanging there. Plus, people come...and they buy! And, there's non-metered street car parking too!

    I am having an Artist's Talk at UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE on Sunday 7th September at 10.30 am. If you are in Brisbane, please come along. Morning tea too...I am bringing out my country urn to make lots of cups of tea. Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, new Farm, Brisbane.

  • AND, Carolyn McDowell from the terrific online arts and cultural magazine THE CULTURE CONCEPT has written an article about UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE. She has written about a few of my exhibitions and she 'gets it'!
    You can read Carolyn's latest article:
    Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox Artist, Life & Landscape Entwined by clicking
    And, when you have read it please share, to help get the message OUT THERE.
Studio shot. Emergent Landscape Gouache on paper 52 x 115 cm in background.
This painting will also be in UNTETHERING LANDSCAPE

I spend a lot of my time in my studio...actually two studios. I know...sounds like a luxury, but in reality one studio is also known as the garage. It's where I paint my big oils. My second 'studio' is a funny small room, with an unsealed ceiling, where the hot water system and fuse box are both situated. This is where I paint my works on paper. The photo at the very top, is taken in my garage studio! The photo, just above, was taken in my works-on-paper-studio.

My daughter's cat came to stay with us over a year ago. Here he is...with red paint...this is what happens when you live with an artist.
To everyone who reads and visits my BLOG...THANK-YOU!


Saturday, July 26, 2014


Point Of View Oil on linen 90 x 100cm 2014
I read an article about a near miss.
A potentially Earth/humanity shattering event in 2012 that was fortunately...a near miss.
But, this event could happen again...and be a close more destructive encounter.
The article Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012 is from NASA'S Science News. It recounts that in 2012 there was a solar storm, a rather large one. The biggest for 150 years. The previous one was in 1859. Here's what the author of the article, Dr. Tony Phillips says about the 1859 event, Before July 2012, when researchers talked about extreme solar storms their touchstone was the iconic Carrington Event of Sept. 1859, named after English astronomer Richard Carrington who actually saw the instigating flare with his own eyes.  In the days that followed his observation, a series of powerful CMEs hit Earth head-on with a potency not felt before or since.  Intense geomagnetic storms ignited Northern Lights as far south as Cuba and caused global telegraph lines to spark, setting fire to some telegraph offices and thus disabling the 'Victorian Internet." 
Note: A CME is a coronal mass ejection - huge bubbles of gas threaded with magnetic field lines that are ejected from the Sun over the course of several hours. 2012 the storm tore through our orbit and luckily we missed being hit... by one week.
But, scientists have garnered a massive amount of knowledge because the storm hit one of our spacecraft, a solar observatory called STEREO-A. This observatory survived the storm because it's equipped to survive such things. Plus, in open space the ambient magnetic field is weaker than the field within Earth's magnetosphere [the region surrounding a planet where the planet's magnetic field dominates]. This means that electric currents are not as strongly generated/ignited in outer space as they can be within Earth's more dense sphere.
So...what's the likelihood of Earth being hit by a solar storm-within the next 10 years? Well, scientists have worked out that it's up to 12% chance. Now, that's quite high, particularly because the devastation would be so widespread and catastrophic.
So, what would happen if we got hit?
Unlike the mid nineteenth, we 21st century sophisticated types, are totally reliant on technology, electricity et widespread fire and brimstone it would be. And, what kind of warning would we have that a massive bubble of gas threaded with magnetic field lines was heading our way? Not much! Maybe hours. The trick is to unplug your devices in time! Yes, well...probably not as simple as that! Think of what would happen to GPS systems controlling planes and ships; hospitals, internet, banking, the lacework of electronic connections across the globe...and into space...and more.
Dr. Daniel Baker, from the University of Colorado's Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics, is quoted at the end of the NASA article:
"we need to be prepared."
It got me thinking about perspective. Regular readers will know this is a favourite topic of mine.
Here we have an instance of scientific research providing us with information that is truly cosmic in perspective. The whole Earth will be affected by a solar storm, if it hits us. We are more vulnerable than our nineteenth century ancestors, because of our reliance on technology and the ubiquity of it. 

Today, war and conflict rage in various parts of the world. We fight each other, rather than working together!
If we take a cosmic perspective, war and conflict seem even more gut wrenchingly needless. After all, we could ALL be wiped out by the effects of massive rolling bubbles of gas threaded with magnetic field lines. But, rather than working together to ensure science can protect us, we fight, threaten, abuse, destroy. We fight over land, territory. We fight in the name of religion. We terrorise, disrupt, withhold and destroy. Points of view become entrenched and intractable.
Yet, we ALL share the planet! Earth is OUR home. So, rather than fight over bits of it, let's work together for all of it, whether we actually get hit by a solar storm or not!
So, to my painting Point Of View. It's cosmic for sure! But, is the black circle sinister or not? Depends on points of view! For me, the black circle could be many things:
  • Symbolic of what we don't yet know. How exciting.
  • An entrance to another world, maybe another Universe in the Multiverse.
  • Indicative of having been somewhere else. Possibly a transformative passage?
  • Maybe representative of Earth, no longer in existence-a reminder.
  • A shadow, eclipse.
  • A promise
  • A black hole

or simply
  • A pinhole in a piece of coloured paper!
It does not really matter what the black circle is. But, if it gets you thinking about perspective, then I'm happy.

Reading the NASA article about solar storms and the University of Colorado's Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics reminded me of my cousin Dr. Bill [aka Fred] From. He died in 1983 aged 27 on Mt Everest. He had just completed his PhD in Physics at the University of Queensland and had won a scholarship to study at one of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany. His research centered on studying the ionosphere which is one of the layers of Earth's upper atmosphere...along with the magnetosphere. Here's a link from MIT to a short description of the interactions between the ionosphere and the magnetosphere.

In 2009 I painted Halo. I was thinking about the atmosphere as being like a halo around the Earth. This halo protects us and enables the conditions for life. Click HERE to read my post Halo, where I also mention my cousin Bill.

Halo oil on linen 80 x 180 cm 2009



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hope Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013

Recent dreadful events around the world leave us feeling bewildered and frightened. For those directly affected it's far far worse.

War and conflict rage in various locations around the globe, causing death, mayhem, social destruction and more. Innocent victims are caught up in the horror, loosing life and limb, fleeing homes and seeking refuge in other places. Long term effects are equally as deplorable and damaging.

What can we do?

It seems blame, reprisals, sanctions, increased surveillance and threats are what 'we' do. It seems that escalation is the currency of the moment. A pervasive fear exists. Politics fails to offer hope.

There's a loss of faith in the human race...surely humanity can do better than this?

But, what can I do?

And now, my thoughts turn to how the arts could be an agent of change, an agent revealing new perspectives through which life can be viewed, revealing alternative pathways to seek solutions for all sorts of problems and issues. An agent that helps us re-discover our humanity...our 'team' which works and plays together on our shared planet.
Pale Blue Dot Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2014

Am I being naively optimistic, illogical? Maybe? But, where there's hope.....

I've previously written that I do not see the arts has having a role, but rather a catalytic agency. The word 'role' insinuates prescription, not only in method but also in outcomes, thus for me it is too reductive, and vulnerable to manipulation through agenda. Whereas, 'catalytic agency' denotes a freer more wide ranging agenda-less, but not directionless, capacity. Who knows what new and surprising perspectives could be stirred and revealed? The arts per se are not the solution, but their catalytic agency can be a potent ingredient helping to stir humanity's imagination, generating creative and new questions... and answers. It's more hopeful!

But, what are art's barriers?

These barriers scream for attention, truly narcissistic in intent, myopic in vision, sensationalist but not sensational...secretly holding hands with apathy. Here's some examples:
  • The ubiquity of fashion and style,
  • money commandeering as value,
  • the cult of celebrity,
  • labels misidentified as meaningful symbols,
  • sentimentality mistaken for beauty,
  • simple copying misunderstood as piercing appropriation,
  • super/hyper-reality quelling nuance,
  • technical virtuosity mistaken for creativity, 
  • didacticism masquerading as wisdom,
  • virtual reality insidiously eroding the psyche.
Planet $ Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm

With mass media and its incessant reminder of disaster and mayhem in pictures, videos and words, the arts must somehow differentiate to be distinguishable in the maelstrom. And, to be distinguishable and affective [ie: transformative] the arts cannot simply or only reflect back. Indeed, this kind of reflectivity is ably and grotesquely the domain of 21st century mass media. It cannibalises disaster swooping for graphic images. Why would art want to compete? Mass media persistently reminds us of the blood, gore and human suffering, which I suggest, desensitises and neuters us to the point where hope fades, fear cascades, contempt for humanity escalates. Better to bury your head in the sand or in fashion or other 'entertaining' diversions?

So, what about the arts and hope...and team humanity?

And, how do I engage with current events in a way that does not neuter me?
All Of Us Gouache on paper 15 x 21 cm

I think generating, or trying to generate, hope is astutely political. So, that's what I try to do in my paintings. I find inspiration in cosmology, the scientific study of the universe, if not the Multiverse. The ever increasing perspectives it reveals, across the close and far distances of the Universe, demand our attention! And, why should we indeed pay attention? These perspectives offer us new ways of viewing ourselves and our planet. For instance, they make it both painfully and beautifully obvious that 'Team Humanity' has only one shared home! Shouldn't we work together to look after ourselves and Earth, not only for the now but also the future?  Cosmic perspectives reveal new questions and demand rethinking about land 'ownership', borders and boundaries. They also re-contextualise human history against Uni/Multiversal history, begging reappraisals of relationships, from the individual to the international. All of this does not mean no robust debate, but it might mean de-escalation of war and conflict, horror and destruction?
Meeting Place Of The Mind Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm

So, in my paintings I try to visually interpret cosmic perspectives in a way which is hopeful, but also questioning eg: Planet $ above. I use age-old transcultural/religious symbols, mainly the tree-of-life plus landscape. With both, I attempt to untether them from traditional visual interpretations by catapulting them into Space and beyond.

My intentionally ambiguous 'scapes' disallow didacticism, thus leaving it up to the viewer to explore and interpret, even if they are initially disorientated.

The dark side, however, does still exist in absentia. It is not ignored, but acknowledged and then deliberately set aside. To not acknowledge would be naïve. The active choice to set aside means hope reigns.
Blood Connection Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm

Of Previous Posts Linked To This One-In Some Way Or Another!

STIRRING THE STAR DUST: A Short Story About Digging
Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective Oil on linen 91 x 137 cm 2014

 my next solo exhibition
2 - 14 September 2014
Graydon Gallery
29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Earth, The UNIVERSE
Please visit Untethering Landscape's Webpage HERE

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Studio with work-in-progress, on left Pale Blue Dot and on the right a fresh stretched linen 'canvas'...and then general studio clutter.
So here's an insight into an artist's way of working. I've been inspired by so many things that my new paintings, over the last year, have to greater or lesser degrees, flowed from me. I say to greater or lesser degrees, because each painting poses different issues, questions, possibilities, delights and problems.
But, at the moment the painting-in-progress, on the easel in the photo above, has got me stumped. I love its red richness, but what to do next?
There are a few problems with this painting and the main one is that I've got too much in my brain at the moment, some of it inspiring and some not. So many ideas, but no clear picture in my mind's eye. This happens periodically. In the past, years ago, I would have become frustrated and completely destroyed the image, if not ripped off the canvas. But, I've learnt to sit with the frustration especially if I am happy with work-in-progress. So, I am sitting.
But, even writing this post is sort of cathartic!
I can feel some clearer thoughts percolating.
Time will tell........
You can see a section of my last painting Pale Blue Dot on the left. Now, this painting flowed, at times easily and at other times not so easily. This painting is essentially about perspective. You can read more by clicking HERE
Here's a painting from 2004 called
Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
Previous post can be read HERE

My next solo show is soon!
From Earth-Bound Horizons
2-14 September
Open daily 10 am - 6 pm or by appointment
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Queensland, Australia
Exhibition website is HERE
I have been invited again to participate in the

The prize is announced on Wednesday 3 September

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


Pale Blue Dot Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2014
On the 14th February 1990, at Carl Sagan's suggestion, a photograph was taken by Voyager 1 as it left our solar system.
Here's a quote from The Planetary Society website:
As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.
To see the photograph please Google images.
The video above has Carl Sagan speaking about the impact of the photograph. Sagan's words are poetic, marvellous and inspiring. They challenge us to take a perspective of ourselves and Earth that I suspect many still find difficult. Sagan published a book in 1994 called Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space
Many astronauts speak and write about seeing the Earth from afar, in space. The experience shifts their perspective of life. I encourage you to research, but to start with I suggest a visit to the Overview Institute . If you are particularly interested in reading some astronauts quotes please click HERE
Regular readers will know of my interest in perspective! They will also know that I suggest we need to develop skills in seeing multiple perspectives, literal and metaphoric...even simultaneously. Cosmology, the scientific study of the Universe, demands that we look up from our computers and phones, to take in and appreciate, the vast perspectives offered by the close and far distances of the Universe...if not the Multiverse. Our survival, Earth's sustainability...depends on it.
PALE BLUE DOT Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm
So, to my painting Pale Blue Dot. Is this simply my imagined view of Earth in space, from space? Is it some kind of good-bye to Earth, a last wave? Or maybe it is a wishful painting...a view of an imagined new home, another habitable Earth-like planet? Maybe if we could take a photograph of our Universe, it too would look like a dot...this assumes that our Universe exists within a Multiverse? Talk about possible literal perspectives!
But, what do these perspectives shift within us? Like astronauts returning to Earth from space, can we, even if we don't literally fly, develop new appreciations of life by actively and imaginatively engaging with Universal/Multiversal perspectives? As Edgar Mitchell, sixth man on the Moon said, There was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught… I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it...
And. as Carl Sagan wrote in his book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space, It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. To think that this quote was written twenty years ago, and many of us [individuals and nations] in the name of religion, sense of ownership, economic imperatives etc are still in states of conflict, war...and more! And, as for succeeding in cherishing the planet...well!
And to my current quest, to untether ideas of landscape from Earth-bound horizons. Pale Blue Dot does just that! Like an image of a mountain against a sky, we have an image of Earth [maybe?] against a backdrop of the Universe...or it could be a 'landscape' of the entire Universe against a backdrop of whatever it might be that hosts/sustains multiple Universes. Or it could be something vastly smaller...a drop of water, a piece of dust, an atom...even a thought?
Landscape and perspective are indelibly entwined...both can be taken literally and metaphorically. It's a powerful combination with lessons for us to learn...if we look up and pay attention.
Birth of Landscape oil on linen  138 x 168 cm 2014
solo exhibition
2 - 14 September 2014
To see the exhibition webpage please click HERE
Copyright: Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox