Saturday, October 04, 2008
The Sydney Body Art Ride paint team doesn’t only get together for the annual charity ride in February each year. They are always busy honing their skills and producing great art. Right now they are working on an intriguing project named Bicycle Triptych (from the Greek τρίπτυχο [ tri'ptu.xo ] tri- "three" + ptychē "fold"). The work was commissioned for the Road Exhibition which opens in Newtown on the 6th of November 2008.
Bicycle Triptych is a dreamlike, quasi religious picture in three panels not unlike old Russian Orthodox Icons. The work depicts the unique relationship between the cyclist and the road drawing on the symbolism of gender as expressed by the French nouns for bicycles and the road. In one panel a woman painted silver represents “La Bicyclette”, in another a man is painted black as “Le Chemine” (the road) and in the last frame they come together in a loving, harmonious balance of Yin and Yang.
The artists felt that the genders were particularly appropriate in this case. City riding is a continual lesson in feminine principles, in particular the art of being vulnerable. A confrontational, macho aesthetic spells calamity. You must learn to yield, to dodge, to seek harmony. You are obliged to mind the web of interrelations, that complicated mesh of interests, conflicts, intentions. The road on the other hand is so obviously masculine, hard, unyielding and direct.