Is there ever a right time to step into the unknown?

Is there ever a right time to step into the unknown?

Nicola Wiltshire

The idea that there is some universality to being human is an important part of how I understand the world around me. Culture and society may appear to change through time, however I believe that all humans feel the same basic emotions. We are all connected through the way we experience life and information is information whether it is received through email or through telegraph. A portrait of a thoughtful woman is always that, whether she was painted in 1820, or 2018.

With this in mind I wanted to create a painting that captured a universal sense of uncertainty, somehow capturing the moment before a person makes a decision. The Crossing shows a road in between two wooded areas, surrounded by mountains. The figure is faceless and stands safely on a line at the edge of a road. I wanted to capture the feeling of stillness that comes with being overwhelmed; knowing a decision has to be made, but avoiding the inevitable commitment. The colours add an eerie, dreamlike quality to the scene. The slices of orange and yellow puncture the dense red and purple, as thoughts and options might during decision making.

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The John Byrne Award