When is a triptych not a triptych?

When it’s unhinged!

First joke of the reanimated blog. Apologies for the awful pun, but – trust me! – it is relevant.

I had just completed the third of a set of paintings focussed on ‘life in Gozo’ under the notional title of ‘The Gozo Triptych’ when it struck me that joining them together, physically as well as thematically, was going to pose some problems.

  • The canvasses are all the same size, which does not allow for the typical folding arrangement.
  • The colour schemes of the three works are completely different from one another.
  • The topics are similarly diverse, the only commonality being their inspiration, namely life in Gozo.

What had brought about these glaringly obvious oversights?  Probably not focussing on the project as a whole; instead fixating on an idea and attempting to tack as much vaguely-related ephemera on as was humanly possible.  That has historically  how I have set about most of my paintings – why settle for one thing when you can have them all? Alas, that way lies if not madness then, at least, confusion – even if everything is ultimately interconnected.  The aim should have been to abstract one concept per work, no matter how tempting it might be otherwise.

Thinking about these potential problems, until just now, I was the only person to know of this fell trichotomy or even trilemma.  If the Ancient Greeks didn’t have words for such difficulties, they certainly do now.  Being a resourceful bunch, I am sure that they might have asked, ‘What Would Plato Do?’

‘There exists in theory the perfect or ideal triptych,’ he might reply, ‘but this isn’t it.’

‘How about a trilogy?’ I would counter.

‘Well, I’m game if you are, dear boy … Go for it!’

So, herewith, or soon after, ‘The Gozo Trilogy’ which covers some 10,000-odd years of loosely recorded history in three small squares:

  • ‘Blood on the tracks’ (or ‘Clip-clop, bang!’)
  • ‘Those were the Daisies’ (or ‘Previously, in the Times of Malta.’)
  • ‘One star in sight.’

All these are available for sale, reproduction, or exhibition – jointly or separately.  Details and photos to follow.


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