I hope you enjoy these pictures of birds and of the inner life of Rembrandt's paintings. Please sit a while!
My lovely dog doesn't like birds. I've watched him race down Paekakariki Beach countless times, frantically trying (and failing) to catch them.
Watching those birds scatter off in all directions, I've remembered Charles Darwin's thoughts about ‘endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful’ and John Berger’s theories on ‘ways of seeing’. Each movement can create innumerable forms, depending on how you look.
In Rembrandt's centuries-old paintings I see the same vitality, life and movement as I do in those birds. I've never seen an original, but I can reach out to them. Figures appear dreamlike – often sad, always beautiful – through the pale blue glow of my laptop screen. I long to see the paintings.
A hundred years ago Anton Chekhov's ‘The Student’ saw the past as ‘an unbroken chain of events all flowing from one to another’. While I'm not saying Rembrandt's paintings have anything to do with my dog's sincere desire to chase any and every bird on the beach, I am saying that movement never has to stop. A painting’s life remains in motion in the digital world, just as a bird's flight leaves ripples in the sky.
As Chekhov’s Student found - when you touch one end of the chain the other trembles.
Camus Wyatt - ‘A thin streak of light’ January 2019
Camus Wyatt's exhibition 'A thin streak of light' is at Photospace Gallery, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington, from 16th February to 23rd March, 2019. The exhibition comprises a series of photographs on lightboxes (in room 1) and a series of archival pigment prints (Rembrandt series) in rooms 3 and 4. The exhibition opens on Friday, 15th February, 5pm-7pm. You are most welcome to attend.
Photo: Camus Wyatt, from 'a thin streak of light'
Photo: Camus Wyatt, from 'a thin streak of light' (Rembrandt series)