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David Alexander Smith's Paintings and Drawings

Burial Ground

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Burial Ground 2005
burialground.jpg
Acrylic on Board 23x15 cm

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About the Picture

The painting records a burial site and its associated gifts to the dead. The dual fetishes of a cooked bird and a salted fish hold the objects that make up these offerings together. These two animals often occur in my other paintings alive and well, individually representing a wealth of ideals and life's vitality; here in death they are reborn as gifts, as food and nourishment - even if they will never be eaten. In the other objects, the idea of containment, or essence capture is of paramount importance. An egg holds a new life inside itself, a vase awaiting flowers stand next to it, while an empty bowl require a meal to make it complete. A pair of male and female skulls indicates two paths to the absent deceased. The mask of death sticks its tongue out at the world. Over all this the hills full of eyes watch on. As Hegel famously quoted: "Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights."

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