Shared history

Shared history is what makes it possible to take up a conversation with a person after ten, twenty, thirty years as if no time has passed at all. It is a precious thing.

So I got thinking. Perhaps it is possible to establish the merest of shared histories with a viewer as they look at a painting – something that both parties feel and take away with them. Does that act of creativity and that act of looking at a work inspire the glimmer of a bond that will last? Perhaps there will never be a conversation. Even more unlikely is a face-to-face meeting. But is there a momentary connection, a shared communication for just a short time, that will endure in the memory?

Until later,


4 thoughts on “Shared history

  1. That’s a fascinating thought.
    In my own limited experience of art, this CAN happen but doesn’t always. I feel a personal connection to Ben Quilty and Antonio Lopez Garcia because I had an emotional response to their exhibitions – presumably this established some neurological pathways that positioned them in the ’social connections’ part of my brain? Now I feel like I’m engaged in an ongoing conversation with them in a strange way.


    1. Exactly. That particular artist becomes like a friend that you look out for, support, appreciate, talk with. Not all artists or all works, as you say, but those special ones that call out become lifelong companions.


      1. Oh YES ! I think it’s like traveling in the fourth dimension of time, without the constraints of being linear. I just viewed some Kirsten Johnston gum leaves and water-colours:

        And your art, I can’t yet get over how it transports me – it’s very magical, to journey so through art. I so appreciate the invigorating, uplifting shariness of it all, the spirituality of hanging in that immense space!

        I can’t tell if it’s the YOU in the water-colour, or the EUcalyptus leaves wafting through my eyes into my brain, evoking petrichor, but some combination thereof, takes me to the tangibly comforting humidity, textures and smell of an overcast spring day, right after the rain when the gums hum out delights of thirstiness satisfied and all being right with the world –

        And I think part of the beauty is, this transient connectivity is a thing that it amplifies care for both the art, the art object and the artist, as well as the reflective pause ushered. I like how you say, for even the merest of tick tocks: and then there’s the possibilities of re-setting of the clocks, by another look, and yet another.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s