a lavish helping
of raw linen
echoes as it falls into place
the sun steeps the white walls
a song rambles and floats
and the voice of paint
in all of it’s graininess
sings freely in gesture
melding back into itself
as history flirts about in my time
~ Darlene Cole
Linen House, Darlene Cole’s heritage home, is the source of inspiration and harmony for this body of work with it’s stained glass windows, hardwood floors and walled gardens. She explains, “the wallpaper removal was like an unveiling of the history beneath, the cold depth of the plaster, enveloping the large windows and deep trim.” Simultaneously with the renovation process, Cole describes the staining of her canvases; “paint dripping…bleeding from one colour to the next, becoming one.” In her paintings, the past melds with the present.
We are drawn into Cole’s paintings, captivated in fact, just as the two children in
Linen House (stealing glances). We see the girl and boy sitting calmly, yet so utterly mesmerized by what is in front of them. The roses, fragrant and full, draw our first glance, however there is an eerie haze, a silence beyond the children. Yet in,
Linen House (singing free in a dream), we are tempted to ramble through the gardens. “Art is felt through experience,” says Cole, who so masterfully captures the lyrical and tangled-ness of time.
Linen House is a bastion of childhood from the outside world, enheartening Cole to freely surrender her emotions onto the canvas. Through her luscious brushstrokes, she expresses her desire and sense of place; her own fulfillment of coming home to a place where she feels most herself. As Cole’s figures may appear unconstrained, curious and safe in the gardens, the thorns of the unknown gently linger.
- Caroline Christensen, Brooklin, Ontario