Inside Outside 

The painting “Inside Outside” (oil on canvas, 5 x 3 meters) was purchased by the London County Hall in 2017.  It represents a view of London. 

 

The painting is divided in three spaces: the first space is the inside of a flat: there is a cat standing on a Chinese carpet on the right and a Japanese Ikebana on the left. There is a "Chinese Guardian Lion" waved into the carpet. There is also a figure standing, observing the scene. The viewer doesn’t see this figure but can guess its presence because its refection can be seen in the window.  

The second space is a terrace  upon which a mother with her two children are looking at the view. A window separates the first and second space but it is mostly transparent, and therefore the separation between inside and outside is blurred. The third space is the view of the city with the River Thames and the Westminster Bridge on the left, the building of the County Hall on the right (the English Lion next to the building can be seen) and a large blue sky that covers all London. The bridge and the roads are intentionally empty. I wanted this emptiness in order for the viewer not to be distracted by movements.  I wanted to create a quiet and timeless scenery, prone to meditation, and from which the beauty and energy of London would gradually emerge.

I knew that the painting would be hanged inside the County Hall building. I thought this was an opportunity for the viewer to experience the sensation of being inside a location while observing the same location from the outside.   Indeed, when the viewer looks at the painting, he is simultaneously observing the County Hall while being inside the County Hall. As such, the painting reflects on a key message of Zen Buddhism  which is that  inside and outside are conventions and that if we manage overtake this dualism, a deeper perception of the reality is possible. Ultimately this is what this painting is about: to offer to the viewer the possibility to meditate and experience a moment during which the border between the inner and outer world seems to dissolve (1)

L. Blondiau

September 2019

(1) For this to happen, the painting should  hang at 1 meter above the floor 

Click on the images to see several views of this painting.  Click twice on each images for close up.

Figures contemplating

These paintings are all about figure looking at a landscape . Actually they are not looking at anything in particular, neither are distracted by  anything, they are are simply  being surprised to be, here and now.  I try to paint this fleeting moment during which a person is aware of her existence, conscientious of her presence in the world.