The Red Thread of Fate

Acrylic on Panel. 90x60cm

I’ve finally finished this long term resident of my work in progress pile!

According to Chinese folklore, there is an invisible red thread that connects soulmates together through space and time. It may stretch, or tangle, but never break. The thread in the painting is pretty tangled but unbroken.

My painting is a reflection on the shift in dynamic that occurs as a result of severe mental illness. The desire to rescue your loved one is consuming, in quite a literal sense, yet we can’t really save them. We can hold on and love them as best we can and try not to lose ourselves in the process.

Where does the loving concern of a wife end, and the carer role begin? How do you avoid losing yourself in your attempt to help your lover, and is saving them even your role at all? I grapple with this reality on a daily basis, and painting is how I process my life. Most of my work reflects things I’m experiencing, either first hand or otherwise, and that state of flow is where I make sense of things and not go crazy too 😂

Some progress shots below. What I start with is rarely how it ends up!


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