OPEN – JOURNEY – Peter Blathwayt 03 – Southampton City Art Gallery

Peter Blathwayt

Three lamps and the pillar of dreams

Oil on canvas, 50cm x 40 cm

After shedding its booster rockets, a Space Shuttle would continue climbing, its three on-board hydrogen-oxygen engines glowing like lamps. Rising on a pillar of steam, it would carry the hopes and fears and dreams and memories of journeys past and journeys future. Here this ‘pillar of dreams’ is inset with motifs such as compasses, charts, a sailing boat and a feather. There is even a saxophone. In 1986 Ron McNair took his instrument aloft to record music in orbit. But his ship was the Challenger, and all were lost. Dreams, however, outlast disaster, and distant horizons will always bring new dreamers.

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