COMMISSIONS

IN THEIR NAME - DON’T COME HERE TO SLEEP OR TO SLUMBER

Commission for the Directors of The Lost Gardens Of Heligan

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THE LOST ONES - homage to the nine men who died during WW1

 

First layer:

To express the exuberance of youth and naivety before the harsh reality of war hits them, the soldier-figure of Percy Carhart, whom I’ve chosen to represent all the gardeners/soldiers of Heligan, is placed amongst the splendour of the garden/flowers. 

 

One moment they are an integral part of the idyllic gardens and the next moment their bodies return to the soil…

(The soil is presented by the method of an ecoprint on canvas. I used this method to a more or less extend in all three works.)

 

Second layer:

Ghostlike image of a soldier in-front of the painted figure. To portray the haunting horrors of war that will never be forgotten and their lingering memory that will always be part of us.

 

Third layer:

A butterfly pattern that creates a stained-glass effect to emphasise the feeling of sacredness and the celebration of the human spirit. The butterfly symbolises metamorphosis, immortality and transformation. A lightness of being and an elevation from earthly matters.

 

Fourth layer:

Expressions and musings of the pain and grief of parents/community/country by the loss of these young men. Words are placed around the silhouette of the soldier to create another figure-like image.

 

As heavy dark waves of sorrow,

peak and subside inside of us,

We are overwhelmed by the full impact

of this immeasurable loss

A physical pain that contracts and then dissipates once more....

Without exception

Relentless

You remain like a chronic buzz in our heads.

As our words diminish,

our all-consuming longing for you grows

And we yearn to see you

just once more…

 

© Lize Krüger

THE FORGOTTEN ONES - homage to the four men who survived and became the Lost Generation….

First layer:

Ecoprint on silk and worked on with oil-paint to reach a richness of colour and texture. I avoided too much colour so that the bleakness of the existence of the survivors’ life after the war vs their hope for the future, could be emphasised.

Second layer:

A transparent layer of white poppies. An almost cut-out look to symbolise the devastation of the war and the overwhelming need for continuous peace. White for hope, instead of red - to not glorify the war.

Third layer:

Stained-glass look with the stylised image of The Red Robin. Robin is used as a symbol of encouragement: Leave the past behind; a time for renewal; to find courage to continue after loss and depredation.

Fourth layer:

A transparent soldier in silhouette portrayed in a fragmented state, combined with words of grief and comfort. They are here, but not really. Just a shadow of their former selves. They became almost invisible - “In honouring the Dead, forget not the Living. Remember us, but remember too, those who survived” (words by a veteran)

‘There will be days that you teeter

On the brink of the abyss of dark haunting memories.

Some will be easier to bear;

Others agonising and unbearable.

Wait for the moments where you can hear soft whispers wafting from

invisible worlds

to give you comfort,

While you plant new seeds in your soul

and allow your spirit to be resurrected

By the gift of Life.’

 

© Lize Krüger

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HELIGAN - a tribute to the Garden and its gift for us, past and present generations, to cultivate our own inner gardens.

 

“We Come from the Earth, We Return to the Earth, And in between we Garden” - Alfed Austin

First layer:

I've used the ecoprint method again (www.mochni.com) on canvas and added rich earth-red oil colours to create a vibrant life-force as background for the following layers.

Second layer:

I’ve used the mirror image of the soldier in silhouette as the physical artist palette for the creation of all three works. The reasoning being, that as the Garden still lives on and is a permanent homage to the thirteen men, so is this figure who featured when the first painting of the project was commenced. It took form in the same way as the first flowers and plants started to bloom under the loving care of the gardeners. This soldier is Heligan and Heligan is all of them.

Third layer:

Transparent stained-glass effect using the bee as symbol that anything is possible

The Field of Flowers, is a field of dreams to the mystical bee spirit. The bee has an instinctive understanding of abundance and knowing how this can lead to prosperity.

Bees have appeared in mythology and folklore, and through all phases of art and literature. They  work cohesively and tirelessly within the community in the same way as Heligan does. The same as Heligan as an entity,  that motivates and engages different teams and creates something meaningful and substantial for the greater good of all.

Fourth layer:

In a handwriting script, all thirteen men’s names are written repeatedly to form a proper soldier in silhouette, bringing a final tribute to these men and the sacrifice they made.

 

FRAMES

English Oak was used to frame all three works. Oak symbolises STRENGTH and ENDURANCE, HELPFULNESS and CONTINUITY.

THOUGHT PROCESS

 

I have attempted to create an overall feeling of enchantment, mystery, romance, sacredness and hope to give these works an ethereal quality that will stay and be remembered by the onlooker.

 

It was important for me to show that the Garden and its men/us have one thing in common: that it takes time to peel back the layers accumulated through the years of existence, before one can discover the essence of each other.  That is one of the reasons I have used different layered images in each work.

 

I wanted to convey the resurrection of Heligan. I don't want the Great War to be resurrected or glorified, but rather the beauty of Heligan and her Gardeners’ heritage.

 

The silk and canvas eco-prints have a dual purpose. Firstly, to bring Heligan into each work in a concrete way and to recreate the look of the Thunder-box’s wall where the handwritings of the gardeners were found.

 

The transparent layers will create shadows, images and reflections that will almost develop a life of its own. Hopefully that will contribute to the elements of surprise and discovery. That the onlooker will find between the layers, the veil of nature’s onslaught, lost lives, history and human suffering. It is also meant to hint at the glass-boxes and hothouses of The Melon Garden.

 

Finally I want the body of work to speak of MAN AND NATURE’S ABILITY TO SURVIVE THE WORST OF TRAUMA, ATROCITIES AND DESTRUCTION. In essence I see this project as a CELEBRATION OF THE CIRCLE OF LIFE  - DEATH AND RESURRECTION.

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