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  • Writer's pictureJack

The Guardians

This is quite a tragic painting. It's the second in my new series based on my strange and troubled life. These days my life is great and I'm very much at peace. I found peace in my mid thirties but until that point I was pretty messed up one way or another.

Now that I'm in such a good place I find it interesting to delve into my past and look at the strange occurrences and explore that with my art and this is what this new series is all about.

As I knew how tragic and strange this painting was going to be I wanted to start off with a texture that was tumultuous and almost dreamlike.

Sometimes in the past I've thought to myself lets have a bit of art therapy and just play out an abstract piece and see where it goes. This never goes to plan and I just end up layering and layering and get frustrated and it has the opposite of a therapeutic effect.

I decided to use one of those abstracts as a base for this painting. It already had a kind of bad energy so it was the perfect base to start from.

I'm the fetus in this picture, in my mothers belly on the left. The two people on the right were my godparents. Apparently they were the most pleasant people one could hope to meet. He was known as the gentle giant. Except it turns out he wasn't.

One awful night they were arguing. Nobody knows quite what went on.

It seems he lost his temper and grabbed her around the neck and strangled her to death.

I remember my mum telling me this story and I have a vague memory of her saying he didn't know his own strength and snapped her neck, but I'm not sure whether that's a fake memory and he just strangled her, not that that detail matters. I have a paper cutting of the event somewhere in storage that I need to dig out.

I remember that in the paper it said he had cannabis in his blood, implying that it was a factor in him killing her. I remember my dad later telling me that he would build spliffs a foot long.

I also remember vaguely that my mum told me he had dressed her in a night gown and sat her in bed, I almost remember her saying he put makeup on her but I don't know whether that's a false memory also, an image conjured up in my own head, though it would be strange for a child to think that.

He was distraught at what he'd done and after sitting her in bed he took an overdose then called the police. He was crying as he was arrested and taken to a cell.

Apparently they could hear him wailing in pain in the cell but thought he was putting it on. He died of the overdose in the cell that night.

I called this 'The Guardians' as I always felt it was a strange fortuitous event that the people who were chosen to be my godparents had such a tragic end while I was still a young child.

I remember being very young when my mum told me this grisly story in detail and it wasn't until later that I thought it was odd of her to tell me that, I must have been about five, not that that matters.

I remember it being quite haunting though and I used to play the scenario over in my head a lot.

I used to look at the photo a lot that this painting is based on, I still have it now.

I'm happy the way the painting turned out, it makes my stomach have a weird churning sensation to look at it which nicely replicates the feelings I associate with the whole affair.

I have to say it's one of my favourite paintings that I've done so far.

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