Tag Archives: art

The Malevich that moved me the most

To start at the end – this self portrait – and what a distance from the early self portraits –  is curated for us as a final farewell as we leave the exhibition at the Tate modern.

And how apt that is – we have been on a journey of amazing depth and interest. And he has been our Virgil.



As we leave he looks over our shoulder with that provocative open handed gesture, dressed in those abstract colours – such  presence – returning finally to the figurative style that he started in, left and then returned to.

It was my work, my journey – do you now believe?

I have established the semaphore of Suprematism. I have beaten the lining of the coloured sky, torn it away and in the sack that formed itself, I have put colour and knotted it. Swim! The free white sea, infinity, lies before you. (Kasimir Malevich)


The single image that moved me the most was also from his later work, there is something so compelling and yet so child like in these later images.


They are like beach huts.

In my dream the sea washes me out, brings me back again, it plays with me in a game that I do not even remotely understand – and then lifts me yet again onto the beach.

Exhausted I rise and I look at these huts. I have to chose one.

They are waiting for me to add detail, to breathe life into them – and in so doing destroy everything they stand for.

And I am not worthy – for in the act of choosing I must deny everything else, all future possibilities.

The sea breathes with me. In and out. In and out. It is so powerful. I am so tired.

I open a door.

Matisse, Guillem, Maliphant and Liberation

In the last week I have been fortunate to spend time at the Matisse cut outs at the Tate Modern, and to get a chance to see again Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant in Push

Both of course are wonderful – such talent.

I was really moved by a particular Matisse – Acrobats – a work that I had never seen before. It spoke to me of so many things.

One of the many examples on show inspired by the circus, to me it spoke of a journey between two realities – the one constrained and the other free.


Matisse Acrobats

I was thrilled to feel the same message in Push. I don’t think that these artists necessarily were thinking on these lines at all – but that is one of the reasons that abstract art and contemporary dance are so strong – you are free to connect with it in a way that makes sense for your own soul.




Sylvie Guillem and Maliphant in Push

So what this mean for me – am I constrained? Stifled?  Or free ?  Is it a progression over time?

I like to think that it is – and that in the last couple of years I have become far freer than ever before. But I know I have a long way to go – I am still too intense, too demanding, poor at just relaxing and enjoying the moment. At staying in the present.

The main image is from that great Christopher Bruce ballet – Swansong – that I last saw at Sadler’s wells back in 2007. At the end of that work the prisoner is finally liberated by death – and that image of him walking slowly offstage towards a distant light has stayed with me so strongly.

Each of us has some version of our own prison – some sense of how our wings are clipped. But once you see a way to free yourself… it’s just amazing – what else is there?