e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “narrative”

The story behind the picture

Over the weekend I saw the Royal Academy summer exhibition. The variety of interesting artistic ideas amazed me – being one of the selectors or organising the hanging must be a wonderful but somewhat overwhelming responsibility.

This is a general exhibition so there is a good deal of both representational art and abstract.

A scene or a portrait has a story – a town through mist or an old man are caught in the middle of one. The fog has come from somewhere and will go, while the people in the houses welcome it or curse it. The old man was once young, fell in love, had children.

I wonder if there’s a story behind an abstract work? Is a cascade of orange against a brown background part of an action or does it have no reference outside itself? What kind of tale would rows of dots tell?

I’m not thinking of a description of the creation of the picture but the way the mind explores associations and puts them into a narrative. Where is the narrative of fine lines printed on an ink-jet? Perhaps it has none but is just of itself, displaying only its own perfection.

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