Oil on canvas
The Clue's in the title -
Everyone of us contemplates their own mortality at one time or other. We all question what's next. My upbringing was influenced by a Catholic convent education with images of heaven, angels and a forgiving God. However, a few years ago, I read a novel by Gabrielle Zevin, titled 'Elsewhere'. I read it not long after losing my father and mother and it gave me great comfort. The story is based on a character that unexpectedly dies at the age of 16. The basis of the story is that we are alive as much as we are dead, we're just somewhere else, and this cycle, like everything else on our planet, just goes round and round and round again. 'Before Inevitably Becomes After' is exactly this, half of the painting is blank, where the other half is filled with bands of colour. The white areas around the perimeter and centre represent the time we are 'Elsewhere', (50%) the bands of colour represent the time we are alive (50%). I researched the life expectancy of men and women and took a mean of them both, which came out as 80. Then I divided the 80 years into the 5 stages of life - infancy (6%), childhood (10%), adolescence (7%), adulthood (58%) and old age (19%) - the maths created a challenge as I had to then calculate each percentage as an area on the canvas. The colours represent the life stages; beginning with the outer areas and working towards the centre, the colours are built on as ageing takes place. The deep red of the last stage - Old Age, has layers of each of the other life stages underneath; this is representational of the child within the adult - no matter how old or confident we get, that inner child is always there.
This painting is currently for sale. For more details, click on 'Art for Sale.'
Photographer: Julie Rawson