"“ For most of us, cancer is a bogeyman who lives in foreign land and we give him little heed, until one day he turns up at your house and moves in without ceremony. Everything is changed utterly, and a compulsory journey ensues.” – Patrick Walshe 2015.
This was the starting point for a series of fourteen “Nocturnes” which Patrick Walshe created as a response to the journey of treatment his wife underwent. The helplessness of the onlooker, the worry that overtakes a spouse at 4am waking rigid with fear and anxiety, was translated into these paintings which are the night prayers of the fellow traveller on this enforced emotional journey. It was a way expressing all the hopes, worries and minor triumphs that are ubiquitous to all those who travel this road.
When eventually a happy outcome was arrived at and the final painting, “Return of the Dawn Chorus” had been completed, Patrick Walshe donated the series to the benefit of The Keating Foundation, a survivors charity.
(I) Dark Night Cold Ground
(III) I Went Down to the River
(II) Hope for Happiness
Since we are what we are, what shall we be
But what we are? We are, we have
Six feet and seventy years, to see
The light and then release it for the grave.
We are not worlds, no, nor infinity,
We have no claims on stone, except to prove
In the invention of the city
Our hearts, our intellect, our love.
Stephen Spender 1943
The fourteen Nocturnes are 60cm square paintings.A Nocturne is part of the night time monastic prayer cycle.This gives the consecutive paintings their narrative identity.
All consist of oil paints on silver leaf which has been applied to the canvas as a ground, thereby creating a three dimensional quality which is greatly affected by lighting and the relative positional aspect of the viewer.
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