Dona Nobis Pacem
Egg tempera on gesso panel, 20 x 30
It was music that inspired this piece. In summer 2016, I participated in the "summer sing" of a local choral society, the Monmouth Civic Chorus. We sang a piece that was totally new to me and sent chills down my spine. It was Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Thy Peace), a choral masterwork by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Vaughan Williams wrote this piece as a pacifist cry as England moved closer and closer to what became World War Two. He juxtaposed the Dona Nobis Pacem, part of the Catholic Mass, with choral renditions of anti-war poetry by Walt Whitman and others. I struggled for a long time to find a way to transform this experience to the visual. The ravens stand in for death. The many triangles in the composition represent the Trinity and its particular balance. If you check on my drawings page, you will see that the original drawing did not include the rifle. For some reason, both compositionally and metaphorically, the painting needed it. I added it in when I was well into the painting. The face of the soldier is my son, Thomas. The uniform is from WWI.