The Cloud (Winterbox)
2013 by Kate McAllan
McAllan’s work is an aim to find silence in an overbearing world; increasingly more noisy, bright and interactive, a place of solitude or quiet is hard to find. McAllan lets us escape through her paintings, visualising a sense of calm, of blissful peace, by summoning the elements we miss. The Cloud is one piece of the seven part Winterbox, one of which is a poem, paying homage to the coming of the clean chill of winter. Misty lands and the fresh spray of the sea are caught in postcard-size pictures, small windows into another world. It is next to these that two images of what lies beneath our skin are shown – a pencil tracing the lines of a pair of lungs and the reaching roots of veins. Using this naively drawn imagery, McAllan probes at the importance of our remembering such scenes within our reach; the cool hand of nature and its seasons is the very air we breathe, the blood that runs through our veins. The Cloud is a watery dream, a suggestion of landscape in a frosted breath; delicate inky lines bleed into a billow of grey, fading into a cold expanse of sky. McAllan’s brush takes on the touch of a whisper, so subtle is her command of colour, and we are mesmerised by the moment she creates. We may not always be able to escape the bustle of what surrounds us, but we can learn to quieten our minds and McAllan’s casting of the white of silence steadies the flow of thoughts.