The Easel

EASEL ESSAY: Night Swimmers

“If you love art, the possibility of revelation is always present.” Thus begins Rachel Spence’s contemplative essay about two paintings, one from 1970’s India, the other from Renaissance Venice. Although separated by centuries and cultures, these works speak to timeless questions about human existence. What is the relationship between the external environment and our internal world, our “interiority”? How does one know and express truth? And, for Rachel, what do these works – one by a woman, the other a painting of a woman – say about the choices that a woman faces in life?

Rachel testifies to the power of art to change lives. “These are images that shift your world on its axis. To look at these drawings is to feel you are witnessing a world, or a cosmos, in a state of both becoming and departure. These are visual testaments to a holy order. In the beginning, they murmur, was the Line. The images whispered to me of stillness. Of silence and solitude. Of an introspective gaze, abstract, unwitnessed.”