Richard Bolingbroke

“Riddles, Mysteries and Visions. Painting from the Material World”

       We live in a world where every question can be answered by the click of a mouse, where we can visit ancient monuments from the comfort of our armchair, a world where the mysterious has almost vanished from sight. Religion has been fatally corrupted by power and decadence, knowledge has replaced wisdom, and information has become a product in itself. In this world more is better, excess is stylish, and “reality” is more likely to refer to a television program than a personal experience, a world where the ephemeral is glorified over the substantial. In short, it is a world where meaning is hard to find.

And so I have asked myself “where do I find meaning in my life and in my art?”. Looking back at my work working with skulls and thorns in Rituals and Meditations and earlier where I was using fabrics and flowers, I could see myself searching for meaning. This earlier work was characterized by an intensity and vitality expressed most especially through color and pattern, and while I see now that this very vitality was an expression of meaning in itself, at the time this did not feel enough.

       While taking a year’s break from painting, I worked on a series of collages that transformed my understanding of the picture plane, and opened my eyes to new possibilities. Originally inspired by the Fukushima tsunami, this work washed my own creative world clean and liberated me to start afresh.  Music, and especially rhythm, was expressed in color and form. Certain obsessions and underlying themes crystalized into symbols and shapes, and the central place I had reserved for representation dissolved. This transformation of my creative process was aided by my work creating a series of abstract monoprints, Meditations on the Square. Stylistically the work I present here is a synthesis of the collage work and my earlier watercolors.

Here I attempt to express discoveries I have made on this journey. Here are carnal ceremonies, and fierce, rhythmic visions, journeys into silence with glimpses of clarity, expressed with grace and veneration. This is my truth. Life IS mysterious, it is full of riddles, and sometimes it is illuminated by visions. In these paintings I offer not the clarity of answers, but mysterious adventures on the stormy seas of the unknown and the unknowable, stories that are both ancient and modern, personal and universal, siren songs to lure you into experiencing life in all its beauty and power.

Building: 101 - Studio: 1508
Phone: 415-863-5654
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