This painting reminds me of a recurring dream in my early childhood: I was falling in space, empty and silent, somewhere far away in the galaxy. I was all on my own and I was aware that I was slowly forgetting my own name. An existential ordeal, at least for me.
In this image I experience a part of that torment. Though it does not literally depict falling, the process of the tortured soul losing itself is somehow visible in the gracious but frantic movement. It is an ecstatic dance of the naked body derived directly from the heart.
She dances in the spotlight in a serene space. She is barely grounded, she only touches the floor with the toes of her right foot. She handles a golden ribbon gently yet intensely. It seems to be her fragile lifeline. As she moves it, a vision that protects her is evoked. The artist used the large cloth to symbolize a dream, her escape from reality. Her lifeline is of the same color as the golden fabric descending from the whole breadth of the top of the canvas. It seems to be only a small corner of a gigantic piece of material that is much bigger than what we see. It supports her almost weightless body. The reinforcement is also present in the warm tone of the painting. It lights up the room where it is placed, it illuminates the spectator too. Gold is of old the symbol of divine presence.
I see a beautiful soul troubled by fear, struggling to find a place of ease. For me, the comfort of the image lies in the fact that she is embraced by the golden drapery. Her body is delicately cherished by it. She is held, covered and uplifted by an enigmatic presence. In her shadow she is already one with it. She is not lonely in her solitude.
Hansa Versteeg In My Solitude, 2018, oil on canvas 110 x 74 cm
This art contemplation by Anikó is published in the book ‘Compassionism’. The book, as well as high quality reproductions and some originals are available via the website of the artist: www.hansaversteeg.com.