Arkley exhibited at the Tolamo Galleries in Melbourne in 1975 at the age of 22 and made significant contributions to Australian visual art throughout his life. This picture is of an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, film actor and composer named Nicholas Cave.
The singer (let’s call him that for now) was renowned for the way he expressed emotional intensity through his music, and lyrical obsessions with religion, death, love and violence. In that sense, artist and subject are kindred spirits, for both enjoyed exploring new frontiers and challenging social barriers. Notice how the sensual face is almost chameleon-like in nature.
Look deeper into the eyes, for eyes are the mirrors of the soul. They are watching you intently for any move. Did you notice the face is actually a mask covering something else? In life, we need to look behind our first impressions. “Personality” is derived from the Latin word persona, which means the role that we assume. Do we ever truly know the person sitting opposite us? I sometimes wonder if we ever do. NWS
Asymmetrical and alternating wide and narrow black and white stripes are reflecting a mood or perception. Designed to attract or to confuse which is only the maker or the observer could know. Haphazardly filling eight panels with which way the painter desires, interpreting which way thoughts flow.The mood is launched violently, but from where?Sure strokes, straight and concentrated alternately associating with each other belies the turmoil felt. Unconscious or determined which we can’t know but only discern. Purposeful and flagrant, defiant and impressing? Rage, confusion and dark thoughts are directed into one goal or intention.Emotions smoldering, lifting the hand holding a brush dipped in black paint ready to paint in a hairdo on a beautiful elfin child. Disruption from the happy memories launched into desperate drowning rage, reaching into the hands interpreted by the brush as extension of the heart and mind desperately is clutching sanity amidst the tumult.
Sometimes I wonder what would my shadow say about me, if it could speak. Am I a good man or a bad one? Was I so characterless that it wouldn’t say nothing at all? It would be sad that it would have nothing to say after all these years we’ve spent together. All these years it was silent, but faithful companion.
In return, I’ve never tried to shake it off my shoulders. I would happily embrace it and walk with it, sharing my paths with it. Sometimes I would feel it as a guardian angel that has stretched itself above me like a guardian angel that stretches its wings. I would wonder does it feel my fear when there was nothing but the sound of my footsteps on the concrete and its empty echo in the street.
There were times when my shadow was following me, but now my shadow is walking ahead of me, carrying me on its back. There is something powerful in this image that makes me think of my age and the fact that I’ve become slow and tired. Even my shadow has become smaller and stooped. And it still walks ahead of me. If it could speak, I think my shadow would tell me to move faster. I take this imaginary challenge and I stretch my step to keep up the pace, there’s no time to waste.