Crossroads

These paintings and poems are a map of archetypal symbols which appeared over a period of time in spiritual direction. This enigmatic experience was so gripping that I researched the symbols as they evolved and painted them to find meaning in what I was witness to. On this journey, I found a friend in Colin McCahon, New Zealand painter in the 60s and 70s exploring themes of faith and the Tau cross, which is later taken up by the Australian artist Imants Tillers.

Frances Guerin, Crossroad and Blue Signpost, 2016. Pastel and ink on Fabriano paper, 120 x 50 cm. Artist’s collection.

All power resides within the cube, all mysteries in three pure vessels.

I arrive at a cross-road with many tire marks turning right, with a small Celtic cross at the center of the intersection. A signpost marked Eudaemonia, creative spirit, indicates the way.

Frances Guerin, All Power, All Mysteries, 2017. Digitally-altered drawing. Artist’s collection.

In the night a disembodied voice announces

‘All power resides within the cube!’

‘All mysteries of the universe in three pure vessels’.

the cube is a vibrant electric force

the vessels are vivid white mandorlas, signs of the feminine

The three graces, the three Marys at the foot of the cross.

The play is dynamic, four intersecting circles, create three mandorlas

like the three thrown into the furnace by Nebuchadnezzar

in answer to their prayers, a fourth appears who cools the flames

The eye of Christ looks through a mandola

and transforms into Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet,

The cube unfolds into a bright red T

the tau cross, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Frances Guerin, The Initial Symbols of the Finished Painting, 2017. Artist’s collection.

Clophas, the husband of the third Mary

one of the two men walking to Emmaus on Easter Monday

meet a stranger they do not recognize

until the resurrected one breaks bread with them

Ichthus, the vessel of the fish.

Then three women called Shannon 

clothed in extraordinary white robes,

embroidered with Celtic symbols

stretch out their hands radiating a mighty force

that nothing can stop.

Like the flow of a river from its wellspring

I am pulled into the stream.

Frances Guerin, All Power resides Within the Cube, All Mysteries in Three Pure Vessels, 2017–19. Oil on canvas, 130 x 75 cm. Artist’s collection.

The Daisy and the Sun, 2018

During a Council of all Beings workshop developed by Joana Macy and John Seed, a group of friends came together to find a new relationship to the natural world in this time of climate crisis. We were guided to meditate alone and allow ourselves to be drawn by something in the natural world and to listen to what it reveals to us.

I noticed a small white daisy whose golden heart reminded me of the sun rays when suddenly the sun spoke: ‘Beware, hubris humans, you have harnessed my power for your use but forget I am a god’.

Then a vision splendid arose. I passed through a gateless gate formed by the legs of the massive figure of Jesus Christ, his arms outstretched in an all-encompassing embrace, standing on the edge of a swirling cosmos composed of diaphanous holy beings singing with one voice, ‘Amen Amen, such is the power of kindness’.

Then one of the mysteries of alchemy is revealed, the treasured translucent pink glaze which occurs exactly at the golden ratio point on a test plate of mineral mixtures for a .8 limestone ceramic glaze.

Frances Guerin, The Daisy and the Sun, 2019. Oil on canvas, 75 x 50 cm. Artist’s collection.

Crossroad, Return from the Mountain

The beautiful landscape of Hepburn Shire is the subject of the four paintings.

The rich volcanic hills are planted with vegetables and vineyards,

Vast golden canola fields amaze the eye in spring

Kangaroos and ducks, blue heron, and magpie

Echidna, skink and foxes

live between forest and human houses.

At some point the wild land and the unmanicured forest

the pale moon in the colours of twilight

became the source of my happiness.

Frances Guerin, The Crossroad, Descent from the Mountain, 2018. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm. Artist’s collection.

As the megafires raged in Victoria and NSW in the summer of 2019/20,
I took refuge in the greenness of Hepburn Shire,
where rain fell throughout summer and were spared any major fires.
Celtic spirituality embraces the notion of immanence, the divine presence in nature,
and contemporary artists in Ireland borrow from the old
and personify immanance as Bridgit’s cloak and in winter, An Cailleach Bheara.

Frances Guerin, Viriditas Crossroad, 2019. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 90 x 66 cm. Artist’s collection.
Frances Guerin, Bridgit’s Cloak at the Crossroad, 2020. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 90 x 66 cm. Artist’s collection.
Frances Guerin, An Cailleach Bheara, Lamgambook, (Mt Franklin), 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60 cm. Artist’s collection.

℘℘℘℘

FRANCES GUERIN IS A CERAMICIST AND PAINTER, AND FORMER COUNSELLOR. SHE LIVES ON DJA DJA WURRUNG COUNTRY, WHERE SHE SENSES THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST ELDERS IN THE ANCIENT TREES AND THE ROCKS, AND SHE ACKNOWLEDGES THE PRESENT AND EMERGING CUSTODIANS OF THE LAND.

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