“Of all forms of government and society, those of free men and women are in many respects the most brittle. They give the fullest freedom for activities of private persons and groups who often identify their own interests, essentially selfish, with the general welfare”.DOROTHY THOMPSON
In the Painting Democracy: telling the dancer from the dance, next in my series Meditations on perspective(mop) I cast a glance at the Idea of Elections and Governance . In particular the dilicate circular dance that lurks beneath the surface, The Elected govern the people yet the people elect the government, it’s this continuous oscillation of power back and forth that I took as my starting point for this painting.
“Democracy forever teases us with the contrast between its ideals and its realities, between its heroic possibilities and its sorry achievements..” AGNES REPPLIER
Five figures, two women, two men and a marionette are gathered on a boreen (Irish: small Road) deep in discussion before the mini ceili (Irish: Dance). The Conductor calls the tune, the Musicians play, some people dance, other pull the strings, The Conductor calls the tune, the Musicians play, some pull the strings, other people dance. Around and Around we dance and whirl, at its centre the flame of something good, the pursuit of utopia. The tune is refined and adapted at each election, without ever being complete.
“Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity .”. IRVING KRISTOL
I wanted to create a balanced composition, so I match the figures pose on each side of the painting. I employed the boreen’s vanishing point and strong Northeast lighting to give a since of dept. Finally I kept the landscape’s brushwork loose/impressionist to give it the feel of, a gentle breeze rustling leaves and shifting dappled shadows.