Impressions on Hurdles of Life 21' x 12'
I first began planning this mural I entitled it ‘Ladders
of Life’ but this seemed to suggest climbing to some sort
of dizzy fulfilment, whereas ‘hurdles’ attempts
to convey the sheer number of minor and major leaps, which our
lives encompass. Each day, each major exam, each crucial decision
– they are all in the mural somewhere.
design sprawls almost untidily across the wall, but I did not
want it to sit neatly or smugly and each panel is intended to
be separate and yet part of the whole group. It projects from
its white background as if it were a moulded part of the wall
and, onto the different panels, aspects of life and learning
and all the hurdles therein are strongly hinted at. Ultimately
it is a design where you can see or imagine what you want rather
than what prompted me as the artist.
Sometimes the rhythm is confused as if we often lack direction –
or we head for a meaningless target which can lead nowhere.
At the base is all the infant confusion of early years - not
so much one route as in all directions. In the centre of the
design is an entrance way in the shape of the World with small
but significant door handles – the Chinese symbol of happiness.
One lives in hope!
the mural the hurdles pile up higher and higher, but when overcome
the pearl of wisdom and sense of achievement reward, if not
always fairly, each person’s endeavours – with the
Chinese symbols for happiness, love and prosperity in evidence,
not forgetting the left hand-side of the mural where the crucial
symbol for inner peace is clearly seen at rest and in calmness
after the vast numbers of completed hurdles. Along the way is
a panel which points out in a semi-abstract form how the individual
sometimes needs to stand against the conformity of the crowds
and to be alone amongst the many. There is also an abstract
reference to the highs and lows we all experience in life, even
the mind-fog we can exist in for ages as we try coping with
our own ‘forty days in the wilderness’.
mural is, in other words, able to be viewed at two levels. First
as a cubist abstraction designed to galvanise a large blank
wall. And secondly as a visualisation, however incomplete and
hesitant, of all that we attempt to accomplish, our hopes, ambitions,
successes – and failures, in surmounting the all too numerous
hurdles of life.