The Turning Year: Artist’s Statement

A statement to accompany the exhibitions I held in Cornwall and London in 2012. (Text links take you to relevant images)

Constant change breathes life into the landscape here in Cornwall and all kinds of weather conditions have inspired the paintings and drawings in this collection. There have been days that are cold, breezy and bright as the winter solstice is approaching and a moment comes when up in the dramatic cloud canopy it’s still afternoon whilst down here the evening is already setting in. On other wintry days the clouds hang low and the land is waterlogged. It’s a dark time that breeds a longing for spring, yet as house lights appear a warm inwardness begins to steal over me.

As the year turns, a stormy energy moves inland. Cloud masses pile up. Field patterns, once highlighted by a dusting of snow, develop the corduroy of cultivation and watery tracks in the mud catch the sky.

There comes a time at last when everything is bathed in the calm and ambient light of a maritime summer. People now are busy preparing and enjoying our summer festivals and one evening near the longest day the spirit of our ancestors is with us as we watch a bonfire roar from Chapel Carn Brea overlooking Lands End. Smoke lingers too in the autumn air as a controlled burn claws back rampant growth on Madron carn and so the circle is gradually closed.

I sense that the rhythm of change in the landscape is the rhythm of what Buddhists call the Mystic Law and my twice daily practice for many years has been key to the dawning awareness that I’ve aimed to express in this collection. Every piece for me makes an inner state visible, reflecting it back through a polished lens, the recognition of value in everything – whatever the weather.

Tom Henderson Smith, January 2012

Rainbow and oxbow painting

For more about the influence of Buddhist belief and practice on my art click here

For more information on the Buddhism I practice click here (SGI-UK website).