This is The Blue and The Dim and The Gold, a piece by Jake Lever, unveiled at Medicine Unboxed 2012 in Cheltenham in November.
Jake has been working with the image of a boat as a way of reflecting on his father’s journey through cancer to his eventual death. The picture, featuring a lone figure in a boat pausing for a moment on a gilded lake, is an invitation to any who have been touched by terminal illness. It will be toured in hospices.
For me, it has become a picture of the journey through menopause, so much so that I now find it hard to imagine the process in any other way. It could be about any kind of change, where the future is unknown, where turbulence and peace sit side by side and there is an acute awareness of the passing and stillness of time.
The piece is the size of a house
I have called this post “Panel by panel” because I am amazed by the size of the piece, which is approximately the width of a terraced house.
I would have thought that to make something of that size you would have to work on it full time and have an enormous studio at your disposal in which to lay it all out as a whole.
But Jake did it in whatever hours he could squeeze between a full-time job and a family and he made it up panel by panel in a small room in the family home. He could only piece it all together by taking the panels into the garden.
Process is a metaphor
That in itself is a metaphor of what work is like – what it has to be like – at a time in life where there are so many commitments it isn’t possible to give yourself to anything in as whole-hearted and focussed way as us intense peeps might like.
And yet Jake shows that somehow it is possible to keep your eye on the bigger picture. Hour by hour, panel by panel, we get there….