NIGHTS OF MAGIC, a story from Transylvania 0
The story of NIGHTS OF MAGIC happened a long, long time ago in the mountains of far away Transylvania.
It begins with the uncle, who asks his son to watch for the boar and chase it away in case it comes too close to the sheep during the night.
I want to go too but they laugh. The night is long and dark in the mountains. The boars have to be chased away, sometimes through thick shrubbery and tall grass. But even so, I still join the uncle's son, my cousin, into the conquest of the dark.
We sit out there in the night, in the tall grass, watching the huge moon above and the clouds sliding slowly on her pale face.
Cousin tells stories about devils, cursing wanderers in the woods and calling out their names, and stories about dark shadows eating your dreams while still alive...
In the middle of this storytelling the boar arrives. It draws close, rustling through the corn field. Closer, closer... it is now almost in sight. The heaving monster breathes out in fog...
Cousin starts shouting. I start shouting too, mostly to scare the shadows praying on my hidden dreams.
And all around us on peaks of other hills, other cousins, other 'me's' start shouting too. It works, the boar is now out of everyone's sight!
And then we sleep in a hut covered in branches. We sleep on hay, still smelling of summer flowers. The sheepskins keep us warm in the cold night until the morning light.
.......... When I woke up the next day, the dreams were still there...and so was the moon from the previous night.
And even now, if I close my eyes, the moon is still there ... as it is in all my paintings from then on.
About THE OTHER ME, story and the making 0
The story of THE OTHER ME started with the idea of a portrait I wanted to create for Newcastle's Kilgour Prize. I imagined painting a goddess of the sea with a peaceful, dreamy look. In the background she is guarded by the ghostly presence of a school of fish, an impression of the dreams she bears or a flutter of her thoughts.
When it felt finished, I hung the painting on a wall and glanced at it from time to time. The feeling that there was more to this portrait than I could explain grew every day. She was somehow talking to me and there was no way I could understand what she was saying.
Image: THE OTHER ME, original art by Christine Onward
But one day, from the corner of my eye, I saw my mother's face watching me from the painting.
And I remembered then a night from my childhood in Romania. It was a cold room, with frosted windows. My sister's face rests on one side of the pillow, and my mother's on the other side. She pulls us closer to her and covers us in so many blankets, and on top of all that she adds her fur coat.
Mother's eyes are closed. We should sleep too.
The fur tickles my nose. The moonlight shines through the frozen flowers on the windows. Its rays rest for a while on my mother's face. I want to grab them, catch them in my hand..., but maybe she is already asleep.
We shouldn't wake up goddesses at night...they might start, again, to shiver.
From this collection you can also see: