#1 Uncertain - Chacma baboons (910mm x 760mm Acrylic)
I have often walked the way of the baboon, following their tracks deep into the mountains, scattered pincushions and familiar footprints offering clues to their lives. As I round the final ridge a bark carries my eye to the kranz, and I am at last amongst them, in a remote valley hidden far from any disturbance. I sit quietly and observe from a distance, the natural space between species still respectfully intact. Foraging, feeding, playing and sleeping all under the watchful gaze of a diligent leader
I become a part of their landscape but do not go unnoticed, they know I am here, but time and distance allow their lives to continue, so I sit and sketch these special moments, the true lives of a primate perfectly adapted to these distant peaks, an unhurried existence in tune with the earth and its seasons.
Living on the edge of a national park offers other encounters and divergent images as I observe our two species interact. On sweltering days they come to the pond to drink, other times they just pass by, but in their eyes I see their opportunistic natures, looking for the gap and a dash for the fruit-bowl. These encounters offer a looking-glass self, and enable deeper reflection on our separate but linked paths through time, and I wonder at their outcome, for the narrow genetic boundary evokes strong reactions in many, and in their response much can be learned about the true nature of our species.
As an artist, the images of baboons are numerous and complex, but it is in their eyes that I find resonance, for here we encounter their innate selves, and in their eyes I see the emotions of survival. I have titled this painting Uncertain, I leave its interpretation up to you.
Response to “#1 Uncertain”
Michaela Strachan May 24th, 2011 at 22:49
Hey Noel, this painting is just awesome. It is a beautiful work of art and evokes all sorts of emotions. Uncertain is such a perfect title. I can’t tell you how impressed I am. You’ve set the bar pretty high for 51 more!! Good luck Michaela