painting: He Returned But There Was Nothing
He Returned But There Was Nothing
He Returned But There Was Nothing, Oil, Acrylic on Canvas , 2009
45cm x 91cm

April's pick of the curator - Joshua Field

In this painting, Field uses metaphor to explore moments of loss and separation that reflect his personal experience. The figures seem to occupy different places in time from the landscape in which they exist, moving from the flat red line of the figure to the recognisable pictorial landscape but eventually leading the viewer to an environment devoid of the comforting implications of the structures and landscapes that the figure seems to be leaving. This separation between the three moments in the painting creates a sense of the passage of time, a notion that the blindfolded boy and horse are moving through discrete historical moments only to arrive at a place where the familiarity of place has been stripped away.

The blindfolded boy leads the sighted horse headlong into this unknown space of memory and time. Their unknowing progress is marked by the red banners that connect the left and right sections of the painting. Color becomes the continuity. Field’s preoccupation with this loss of the familiar mirrors the common experience of leaving home only to find upon one’s return that nothing can be the same as it was, though it may remain the same in our memory