Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Resurgent Light

Resurgent Light, o/p, 24" x 24", Steven Rhude

In this fast paced virtual world of ours, it’s quite plausible that there are people who have never seen a lighthouse in the flesh. Never sojourned to experience the prospect of one of our most enduring symbols face to face, and considered what it could mean personally or collectively. Never driven, or hiked, or boated to a lighthouse. Never crept along a desolate point of land, with precarious cliffs, or a tidal surge to contend with. Never approached a lighthouse door where just a rope secured it, instead of a handle. Never entered and searched through the rooms of a dwelling abandoned, or marginalized, or declared surplus. Never looked out of salt encrusted windows, and pondered the struggles of a long line of families and keepers. Never imagined their tragedies and victories, their loves and hates, or the cycle of their purpose and responsibility. Never climbed the steps of a lighthouse to the lantern and stood where others before them stood, and questioned why a facility like this seems to so easily demarcate our relationship with land and water, with security and the unknown. Never wondered why in Virginia Woolf’s novel, “To the Lighthouse”, the lighthouse has no place name.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Friday, 19 September 2014

Lands End

Lands End, Cape Spear, o/p, 20" x 24", Steven Rhude

“It will rain,” he remembered his father saying. “You won’t be able to go to the Lighthouse.”
The Lighthouse was then a silvery, misty-looking tower with a yellow eye, that opened suddenly, and softly in the evening. Now —
James looked at the Lighthouse. He could see the white-washed rocks; the tower, stark and straight; he could see that it was barred with black and white; he could see windows in it; he could even see washing spread on the rocks to dry. So that was the Lighthouse, was it?
No, the other was also the Lighthouse. For nothing was simply one thing. The other Lighthouse was true too. It was sometimes hardly to be seen across the bay. In the evening one looked up and saw the eye opening and shutting and the light seemed to reach them in that airy sunny garden where they sat.

Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Mea Culpa

Lantern, Cape Spear, o/p, 24" x 20", Steven Rhude

Over the years, I've learned there are times when it's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. A distracted lighthouse guide gave me sufficient time to explore the lantern of Cape Spear which is off limits to visitors. The result is this painting. Another architectural feature study of that great lighthouse.

Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS

Monday, 1 September 2014

March of Obsolescence

March of Obsolescence, o/p, 20" x 24", Steven Rhude

The Window

“Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow,” said Mrs. Ramsay. “But you’ll have to be up with the lark,” she added.
To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if it were settled, the expedition were bound to take place, and the wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years it seemed, was, after a night’s darkness and a day’s sail, within touch. Since he belonged, even at the age of six, to that great clan which cannot keep this feeling separate from that, but must let future prospects, with their joys and sorrows, cloud what is actually at hand, since to such people even in earliest childhood any turn in the wheel of sensation has the power to crystallise and transfix the moment upon which its gloom or radiance rests, James Ramsay, sitting on the floor cutting out pictures from the illustrated catalogue of the Army and Navy stores, endowed the picture of a refrigerator, as his mother spoke, with heavenly bliss. It was fringed with joy. The wheelbarrow, the lawnmower, the sound of poplar trees, leaves whitening before rain, rooks cawing, brooms knocking, dresses rustling — all these were so coloured and distinguished in his mind that he had already his private code, his secret language, though he appeared the image of stark and uncompromising severity, with his high forehead and his fierce blue eyes, impeccably candid and pure, frowning slightly at the sight of human frailty, so that his mother, watching him guide his scissors neatly round the refrigerator, imagined him all red and ermine on the Bench or directing a stern and momentous enterprise in some crisis of public affairs.
“But,” said his father, stopping in front of the drawing-room window, “it won’t be fine.”

- from: To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf