Years ago I had a dream. I have always had an extremely active dream life yet I awoke from this dramatic experience profoundly shaken. I dreamt I was in a gallery in Europe, Paris I think, looking at these oversize canvasses of tabletop still lifes—boring, flowers-in-vases kind of pictures, but huge scale, four feet by six feet.
Someone said to me, "Relax. Just look. Let your eyes stay with the image.” So I did. And waited. This huge painting of blue flowers very gently, silently, began to move. The blossoms swayed as if a breeze from an open window in an adjoining room was filtering through the house. I could see tiny movements of leaves and a shimmer on the glass of the vase, highlights shifting with the motion of the flowers. I was floored. A person had managed to paint motion. Somehow with his paint he captured the subtle pulsing of life in a vase of blue and white flowers on a table.
The dream continued with other canvasses in the salon, my search to find the man and his gift to me of a piece of his work. But the crux of the experience for me was an overwhelming sensation of magic and clarity, a realization of art having an active soul. A good piece of art moves. It has a dynamic presence in our reality. It should not be a static thing on the wall.
These wall panels are impossible to reproduce. The art is the dance of light. The sculpture of the piece is its depth; the real essence of the piece is its three-dimensionality. That is what this work is all about. The art of these pieces is their effect. The sculpture in its pure sense is immaterial.
I create these pieces listening to music. Paul Klee once remarked "Art renders visible.” If one could see music this is what it would look like. If one could see quantum mechanics, the elemental motion of atoms, this is what it would look like. If one could see that invisible buzz that one feels when passion is vibrating your being, this is what you would see. My work is an attempt to portray the invisible—its kinetic magic, fleeting, ephemeral, powerful…
These pieces respond to light, obviously. Twilight, candlelight, halogen bulbs, ambient light, direct sun all generate different experiences. These panels will reward scrutiny and change with the time of day. Look very closely and you will find a full spectrum; the scratch lines act as a diffraction grating to spread light into its component hues. Look across the surface of the panel and you will find a perfect mirror reflecting objects in the room quite clearly.
In my dream I found the power of true art. In my art I’m trying to bring that movement I experienced into our daily reality. Thanks for your eyes. Take your time.
Bruce R. MacDonald