Van Gogh’s, Sunflowers.
The National Gallery, London.
25/01/14 – 27/04/14
Hustle and bustle, pushing and shoving, is this absolutely necessary for something we’ve all seen a million times before? For these famously known and immensely reproduced images.
As an avid fan of Van Gogh too see his Sunflower paintings in their almighty glory and for free? I do believe it was worth the tourists filled queues to feast my eyes upon the beauty which surrounds the viewers presence.
For the first time in 65 years two of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings are being shown side by side in the National Gallery for spectators to compare and contrast before their very eyes. Alongside these are accompany scientific research x-ray scans which enables us to see exactly how Van Gogh painted them. Giving much more understanding to his practice and the ability to understand in more depth the meaning behind the works.
The exhibition displays the images painted from 1888 – 1889 during the rare time Van Gogh’s experienced excitement and optimistic feelings before famously cutting part of his ear off and being admitted to an asylum after a nervous breakdown.
The paintings were intended to decorate a friends bedroom and so they symbolise friendship, welcome and happiness.
Many people have their own reasons for admiration of the paintings but the most well known appreciation is of the their overwhelming sense of a life cycle from the buds of new flowers, the very much alive and blossoming sunflowers to the slowly decaying and dying flowers. The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to whitens 2 of the paintings side by side which create a much more overwhelming sense of awe than I ever imagined.
Two of Van Gogh Sunflowers shown together at The National Gallery, London for first time in 65 years.
My photographic response to visiting Van Gogh’s Sunflowers:
My intention when photographing these flowers was to somehow represent my emotive state and express feelings within the flowers.
The colours specifically respond to the likes of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers but also our semiotic colour association. The bright yellow’s represent positive current feelings of joy, confidence, strength, creativity and happiness. The depth of field as well as the composition is for aesthetic purpose but also represents direction and motivation within a specific point of the image, with a particular individual flower as the focus. Blurring the rest and focusing on mainly one flower is a conscious decision of my focus at the moment towards particular persons who help to guide and motivate me throughout life.
The daffodils specifically represent my long to go home, a sense of missing Wales as our traditional Welsh symbol looks longingly down and sombre towards the bottom of the frame which is why I chose to photograph them later in the day as the sun was slowly sinking before a new chapter in my life arises in my current home. I am grateful for such opportunity and do not take for granted those who have helped me along the way, specifically those back home.