Achromatic by Jilli Blackwood – A Viewer’s Perspective
By Alan Friend.
For me, the true tests of an artwork, whether realist or abstract, are that it stimulates my imagination and elicits also an emotional response. For example, when looking at a painting of a bowl of fruit, I tend to see only a bowl of fruit. My thoughts usually go no further than, “Well, it’s a bowl of fruit. Must remember to add apples and bananas to my shopping list tomorrow.” While I have an intellectual admiration for the skill of the artist, such an artwork does not normally provoke an emotional response.
Achromatic is an artwork that does stimulate the imagination. Whether gazing at the artwork itself or seeing it in my mind’s eye, Achromatic invariably sets off a flight of imagination. I have seen a black moon darkening a white sky, a black sun glowing in a white sky, an imploding star, a black hole in space, a wormhole, an eye, the Eye of Horus, a solar eclipse, white feathers on a black blanket, diamonds glinting on a bed of coal. Each such vision sets my thoughts off on a happy path of contemplation.
The artwork also provokes an emotional reaction. It is a blend of power and peacefulness.
Achromatic draws me in. I sense a power emanating from it. Perhaps it is the essence of the soul of the artist residing in the artwork? It may be my fancy, but I believe a true artist leaves the essence of themselves, a part of their very life force, in an artwork.
Achromatic evokes a feeling of tranquillity within me. In a world full of colour, perhaps looking at an artwork composed of black and white and grey is restful both for the mind and the eye? Interesting, also, how such starkly opposing hues somehow combine to produce not discord but accord. Further, there is a sense of balance within Achromatic. The major shapes in the artwork exist in harmony with each other, soothing and restful on the eye, while the slashing diagonal strokes provide a necessary sharpness and counterbalance, as does the three-dimensional surface of the piece.
To sum up, Achromatic passes the tests. It both stimulates the imagination and evokes the emotions.