Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Les Trois Soeurs et les trois frères


Les Trois Soeurs par Claude St-Jacques

The centre of the painting is open and empty, a distant blue horizon. On the left, symmetrical trees dot a rich grain field. To the right, the three faceless women, formal as widows, gaze solemnly out of the picture. I love the mystery of these three figures, impassive but daring the viewer to project some meaning on to them.

This picture, Les Trois Soeurs by Claude St-Jacques, hangs in the living room of my Montreal home. On this Autumn evening my three young sons are sleeping softly, loose-limbed and tousled. These women remind me that there's another side to my boys, a sensitive mysterious feminine side (shh - don't tell them!); it's often hidden but it's always there behind their wide eyes. And that far blue horizon is their future, stretched out under a big sky, hopeful, leading to ... who knows where?

The figures are forever mysterious: just when I think I understand them their expression changes, facelessly. Sometimes I think I know my young sons too; other times less so. And occasionally on their faces I believe I see an expression that says they might know me better than I know them.