Tuesday 30 April 2013

The Gravedigger

Though I was mainly concentrating on the two Fred Williams landscapes (see next blog) I found it hard in that small gallery room to ignore the graphic Jon Molvig painting, The Gravedigger.

Jon Molvig, The Gravedigger, 1962, oil on composition board, Purchased with funds from the Colin Hicks Caldwell Bequest, 2008

The image is very simple and would be sparse if it were not for the solidity of the objects – the gravedigger and his shovel.

Again I found myself writing a poem that responded directly to the painting.

Here’s the poem, as it stands at the moment.

The Gravedigger, Jon Molvig, 1962

The gravedigger is immense
    threatening the elements
        threatening even death itself
with his sharp shovel-spear that slices the earth
    with the bludgeoning weight of his hand
        and – ready to blot out the sun
            the vast shovel-blade of his face.

Another thing I’ve noticed since is the clay colour, not, as you might expect, of the earth, but of the grave digger himself, a very rich, strong brown.

There is nothing tentative or unsure about this painting.

Cheers – Barry Breen April 2013

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