Tag Archives: ekphrasis

November verse 10: On a painting

November verse 10: On a Painting

Look! Me at breakfast scrolling Twitter –
hashtags Covid, climate, race.
No, I'm the incidental sitter
who supplied arms, thumb, hair, face.
The artist's left her shining pages,
table scenes from other ages:
a child communing with a cat,
a woman lost in dreams or chat.
The artist stands, her drink neglected,
sees him absent in his phone.
The books behind hold all that's known.
His cup is empty, disconnected.
Reading too much into art?
That knife is pointing at his heart.
Penny Ryan, Covid Breakfast News, 2020
Oil on canvas, 68 x 55 cm

The Emerging Artist claims not to have deliberately done that with the knife, and I had to reassure her that, previous works to the contrary (as at this link), I didn’t read the image as signifying hostility, but as a subtle evocation of current dangers.

Incidentally, the Emerging Artist is part of Time Being, an exhibition opening in the Shop Gallery, Glebe, this week. There are Covid-safe Meet the Artists events on Saturdays 21 and 28 November. You can find details here.