“All that surrounds me is rage and beauty is contained within”, for fury and the sense of the Universe is one we truly can never witness fully but we can imagine, we can see the stars unravel, the sea collide as Shakespeare’s Tempest and the starting of the storm that comes when the blood begins to boil because we have the ability to imagine, to observe and remain the bystander on the shore looking up at our own Sun and wonder just how fortunate we are to be alive when it burns so well but how doomed we are knowing the rage around us, the fire in our bones is slowly running out and that it is only fear driving us on.
To glare upon Neil McChystal’s La Mer is to feel powerless but beguiled by the inevitable, a scathing rebuke felt by the innocent but one secretly enjoyed as one who seeks the comfort of the whip and chains but otherwise lives a pious life.
Inspired by Debussy’s La mer, the glare is apt, for one does not look upon the Sun and the impending crash of waves in a tsunami effect as anything but awe, intrigue and fear of what these powerful natural states can bring and yet with a third of the painting dedicated to the blood red, a gathering echo from the first two sections of the painting, the human state of anger infecting the natural world, what the viewer may see is the unavoidability of Man’s wrath contributing to the sea of troubles.
One must glare but one must also appreciate fully the artist’s intentions, the sense of fury but also the peace that ensues, for whilst nature is inescapable for the time we have on Earth, it can be looked upon as the most beautiful moment we can hope to see, that unlike art, music or even poetry, what you see at the moment cannot be passed down and preserved like family silver or the antique clock; it can only ever be imagined.
Neil McChystal’s La Mer is an energetic piece of art, it captures the moment of the clashing of three states of fury and the beauty that can be found in such passion; a sense of looking upon the universe and knowing that in the end what we do is but a brief glimpse that will eventually leave the world in a breathless undertow.
Ian D. Hall