Monday, November 19, 2012

Blaine Rancourt's 'Overcome'.

Blaine Rancourt's 'Overcome' cuts to the chase.  We see a long haired musician, looking upwards as he plays his guitar. A musical score weaves over his head, and under his arm and guitar.  The musician's head tilts in an upward attitude that suggests that he is connected to a source of  higher illumination. We can only imagine what the illumination may be: knowledge, information, spiritual power - whatever.  But there is more.  The singer who draws from this power sings a song of unshakeable idealism.  His face is bathed in light. He's a messenger of important news.

But here's the irony.  The splashes of black across the work gives the painting an interesting twist.  The black splotches look like paint dripping down a wall.  The faded image may have been there for years. There is a sense that the singer and his message have been relegated to a time long passed.

Melanie Ferguson, an educator, and formerly of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery of Oshawa,  has another perspective of 'Overcome'':
My first thought is that the guitar player is emerging from his music, as if the music is setting him free, or making him come to life (which is indeed what music does).  The notes on the staff are obscured, and along with their "drippy" lines, suggest a sad piece of music.  The sombre colours add to this effect.
Melanie's perspective is interesting for it suggests that while the message may have been rejected, the music continues. Notice how the musical score is uninterrupted and it flows across the painting. It could be that the song itself sets us free. And taking it one step further it is easy to wonder if Blaine isn't telling us that real freedom exists on a spiritual plain  and the song of life transcends human struggle..

'Overcome' is reminiscent of the 1960's civil right anthem,"We Shall Overcome". It leaves us to wonder what  has replaced the message of the '60's.  Blaine leaves that for us to speculate and this is part of the mystery and the work.

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