Janice Mason Steeves


Gathering Light
Solas Bhailiu

Janice Mason Steeves

The exhibition, Gathering Light, falls in the darkest months of the year. Ancient people knew about light. They oriented their stone circles and passage graves to the sunlight or moonlight at solstices and equinoxes. Light was sacred to them.

Inner light and the oneness of the world were ideas sacred to the monks on Iona. Besides spending time recently, visiting a passage grave in Ireland, and walking the ancient stone circle of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis, I attended a retreat on the island of Iona in Scotland. It was here that Celtic Christianity was brought into Europe. I decided to metaphorically gather some of that light--from Iona and from the passage graves and stone circles-- and bring it home to translate into paintings. Solas Bhailiu. Gaelic for Gathering Light.

I apply oil paint in extremely thin, transparent, layers that overlap each other. The surface is gradually built up layer by layer to create a sense of light. I use only colour and light with minimal shape.

The idea of mystery and creativity surrounds the darkest months of the year, when days are short and light is so important. There is a sense of longing and turning inward, to connect with an inner light as we wait for the return of the sun.

    All Images © Janice Mason Steeves, 2014-2015.