Not Entirely Gone
You either feel it or you don’t; boys are obliged to discard something in their late teens, in the process of becoming grown men. It’s not entirely gone, not altogether lost, perhaps, but it cannot be grasped, or properly named. We are obliged to speak about it in allegory and often the story is that of a girl, or a girl-like creature, who, whether drowned, sacrificed or buried alive, must be hidden away in the dark where nobody can find her. As a grown man, you either feel it or you don’t – and if you don’t, the lack is still visible to those around you. If you do feel it, you mourn, and the grief can manifest itself in dramatic forms, Alcohol, drugs, obsession, self-harm, random addiction to obscure and unglamorous dangers. Yet it is still better to feel it than not. Not to feel it is to die without ever being haunted – and who would wish for that?
John Burnside, I Put A Spell On You
The painting is one of mine from 2009 – ‘Now You’re Taken‘. It was part of the Project Mogwai series I made between 2008-2011. Long since sold, it’s one of my favourites from those early years when I was teaching myself how to paint. It’s the kind of image I’d been longing to make through all the years when I was messing around with comix and, once again, Mr Burnside – one of my favourite writters – expresses so eloquently that which I’d hoped to capture in the painting.