Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Les Trois Soeurs et les trois frères

Les Trois Soeurs par Claude St-Jacques

The centre of the paining is open and empty, a distant blue horizon. On the left, symmetrical trees dot a rich grain field. To the right the three faceless women, formal as widows, seem to gaze solemnly out of the picture. I love the mystery of these three figures, impassive, daring the viewer to project some meaning on to them.

This picture, Les Trois Soeurs by Claude St-Jacques, hangs in the living room of my Montreal home. On this Autumn evening my three young sons, strong-limbed and tousled, are sleeping softly. These women remind me that there's an aspect of my boys, a sensitive mysterious feminine side (shh - don't tell them!), that's often hidden from me but is always there behind their wide eyes. And that far blue horizon is their future, stretched out under a big sky, hopeful, leading who knows where.

But the figures are forever mysterious: just when I think I  understand them their expression changes again, facelessly. Sometimes I think I know my young sons too; sometimes less so. And sometimes on their faces I believe I see an expression that says they know me better than I know them.