Geoffrey Smart on an ABC documentary, screened on the 27th November, quoted T. S. Elliot’s ‘still point’ and discussed the value of the written word as opposed to music as opposed to painting. He said it wasn’t until he realized that really good paintings had that ‘still point’, that he understood the true worth of paintings.
I like what Smart had to say. The ‘still point’, the arrested moment, when captured in a painting adds piquancy. It’s the moment when we catch ourselves by surprise.
That fleeting undefinable essence is available to all those who take the time to sit with the painting and listen. Wherein lies the essence of a good painting; it does not give up its secret at first glance and it does not bore with repeated viewing; rather it continues to surprise. It is an invitation, a partially open gate, a shut door, daring the viewer to wander in, or to open the door and step across the threshold into ‘what if’, that wondrous world of imagination and dream.
R.I.P Geoffrey Smart, died peacefully on the 21st June, aged 91.