By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
An Opening: Twelve Love Stories About Art
By Stephanie Radok (Wakefield Press, $24.95, softcover, 168 pages)
Art, like people, is made of multi-faceted patterns and how we use it depends on how we come across it in our lives.
For Stephanie Radok, artist and writer extraordinaire, “if it is around us everyday it can be especially transforming”.
Art inspires love and a plethora of other uncontrollable emotions. This book pulls together her experiences and ideas, responses to art and the thoughts aroused by it.
Here is an admission, reflections, in-depth exploration of descriptions from calendars that have had a great influence on the author. The related imagery, close to her heart, is poetry in motion.
Still Life, painted in 1866 by Henri Fantin-Latour, possesses “a sense of the implacability of objects, their calmness or sense of moral certainty”.
The ongoing popularity and appeal of Vincent van Gogh’s work stems from the sense of love that emanates from his art: “it is like electricity and can make your heart move in your chest”.
Stephanie remembers a Paul Klee painting on coarse hessian with a “sense of simplicity, lightness, release, elevation and tranquility”.
Another memorable image is from Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. Making it particularly precious is a sense of “wonder in this work, its colours, the proliferation of animals in it”.
An Opening is a personal journey searching for a “few fragments of common feeling, ideas, information about art, about history, about cultures and the making of objects and thoughts, fitting pieces together … the description of something that I have also thought or felt, a feeling of contact, revelation, enlightenment, epiphany…”
Stephanie’s engagement with art is sentimental, poignant, deeply reflective and a revelation for the uninitiated!
Edition 405, 15 April 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.