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Icons

© Copyright Alessandra Kelley

Three children in loose white tee shirts and loose knee-length red short trousers, standing over a cross-section of earth showing that several large religious icons are buried below them.  The air is bright but not quite sunny.  Sparrowhawks stand and fly near them, and the sky is roiled and dusty blue and the ground is dusty yellow and they could be in the desert or at the beach and it could be dusty or foggy along the horizon

"Icons" is an egg tempera painting on panel.

It was meant as a consideration of hidden things. There are several religious icons buried in the soil beneath the children, which we can see because of the cross-section. But to the children all there is is the yellow earth and the dusty grey-blue sky and each other. A sparrowhawk sits on the ground near them and another flies by. There might be a dust storm in the background, or it might be fog or the ocean, or a tsunami.

Some time after painting this I realized that the imagery had been inspired by natural history museum exhibits. Their illusionistic murals of infinite space curve around behind displayed specimens and artifacts, giving both a sense of infinite space and the intimate dimensions of the immediate objects.

an arm, the elbow jutting aggressively to the left

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