Autumnal Tracks – Hahnemühle Textured Fine Art Paper 310gsm – 15 3⁄4 ” x 15 3⁄4” (40cm x 40cm) 2013
My view of this image when I first saw it was that it portrayed a sad feeling of something that was once great and powerful, that is now nothing more than a forgotten inconvenience. That then got me thinking about the use of the line. Was it a minor sideline or a branch line? Maybe it was a major expressway connecting important cities or geographical areas of production. Many people may have once seen this view on their way to work, or only workers on the line saw it as it only carried goods… Maybe many people are glad to see the back of this line as it has now bought peace to their lives, or has it cut them off from everyday life?
Then a worse thought came to mind… maybe this was a branch line leading to a place of horror… could it have been a disused line leading to a prisoner of war camp or maybe even a jewish death camp? But there is a sad feeling behind the view.
The suggestion of a train approaching through the overgrown wood assists with these thoughts. Maybe this engine is still sitting there, also overgrown, or maybe it is a ghost train only there in the viewers imagination, or do the woods create the thought and image of this once proud engine? Maybe these are echoes of the people that once traveled this line? Do the plants on the right also suggest heads watching the passing engine?
At the end of the day it matters not if this is just a siding, branch or main line. Knowing is not relevant, the thoughts that it invokes are key. Knowing what or where is not known to the viewer – it could be anywhere in the world and depending on where that viewer is, will bring forth relevant thoughts based on their own history or countries past.
The colour suggests an Autumnal season which is reflected by the sad feelings of something coming to an end. Also it is meant to add a lift to the spirit that it is not all sad -it just depends how you want to view it.
This painting is based on an original photograph by James Clancy who kindly supported me with this painting. http://jamesclancy.org