Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Refuge in the Night

Intimacy is a principal benefit of reclaiming the twilight hours of each day: intimacy with nature, intimacy with others, intimacy with ourselves. Darkness is good therapy. It unwinds the springs that daylight tightens and opens doorways onto eternity that are made invisible by light.   —Clark Strand

Diane McGregor, Listening in the Dark 1, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

"BLACK" opens next week at Space Gallery in Denver. The curator, Jo Marks Aardsma, writes, "The work for BLACK was selected because each artist uses black, not as negative space, but as an opening from which to reveal what lies at the edge of vision."

Diane McGregor, Listening in the Dark 2, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

Black is darkness, the shadow self, the unknown, the unknowable. For me, the darkness is mystery, and since one can’t see in the darkness, one must listen. Stillness and silence are necessary for this kind of listening – an awareness of feelings and thoughts and mythic truths brings the unconscious self into the light. Paradoxically, working on these paintings for “BLACK” has sparked my interest in color again – in this case, a glorious manganese blue. The blue and the black shimmer together, giving the black a mysterious power, and turning the blue into the light that seeps through the cracks in consciousness.  “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” Jung believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness – or perhaps because of this – the shadow is the seat of creativity.”

Diane McGregor, Listening in the Dark 3, 2015, oil on canvas, 24x24 inches

Nature is also referenced here.  “Listening in the Dark” could be an invitation to pay attention to the sounds of the night: crickets, frogs, the wind, the rustle of leaves.  These sounds are a comfort in the blackness, while opening the senses to what mysteries the darkness reveals. 

"BLACK" opens with a reception for the artists on Thursday, October 22nd, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. The exhibition continues through November 28th at Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO.