Rituals of Time, Place, and Belonging

I paint places, seldom people. Place anchors me. Time anchors me. Many, many years ago, when my hair was yellow and mind in its infancy, when my mother was young and I was a child, we began a little ritual, a bus or a train journey from Beverley to York. East Yorkshire was then the horizon of my little world and York was on its fringe, a city of ancient, quite terrifying walls and turrets, of Gothic dungeon-like towers and a soaring minster to preside over it. But it was also a place of tea shops and toy shops, and here my mother and I sat and ate chocolate eclairs and brandy snaps and Yorkshire rarebit, and I played on white table cloths with my new cars and Brittons animals. We usually went to Terry’s, sometimes Betty’s. And 45 years later, we do this still. At times it feels sad, the dark skies pregnant with incipient grief at times gone and lost, a chill fear of life’s ticking clock. But few places resonate with me as does York for here each stone and street is filled not only with history, but more importantly with my history. I wandered through the lobby of the Royal Station Hotel recently, and I was struck at how even the bathroom fittings and tiles had not altered and thus provided a link to the nebulous place which is my early consciousness. Every people, every nation has its own creation myths, tales of how and where the nation began and so it is with individuals, and in the same way we want to preserve the threads of time and place that anchor us. So rituals are important, even when they are not always convenient. For such is what makes us who we are. My paintings are on sale at http://www.artfinder.com/andrew-reid-wildman and I undertake commissions from £60 upwards.

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