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  • Writer's pictureJean-Francois Podevin

LOST OCEANS: The Enigma of Departure

Updated: Feb 18


With its cryptic elements, "The Enigma of Departure " which I titled this painting, has more to do with dream logic than real life. Like in a dream of flight: lean over the edge of the picture, leap forward, and be welcomed into the journey!

I hope it brings you back to a time before all things were described to you, a time of pure wordless emotional wonder, a time when if you got too close to a question, it would recoil like a sea-anemone.

The Tall Ship with Eight masts, (Le Navire a Huits Mats,) with its cargo of oceanic longings, is a recurring dream of mine. I've watched it docked in harbors, silhouetted against the horizon, moored in a tropical island cove, I've seen it as close as you see it in this picture.

As it appears to me, I become alert and euphoric as if in a lucid dream. I run towards it, but Invariably it has sailed away by the time I get there. Overwhelmed with regret, I feel as if the ship withholds everything that I can wish for, if I only I knew what I wished for!

I revamped this image from its earlier version, by making it larger and more detailed in order to accommodate a larger size print requested by a client. It is part of a series from 1998 titled "Lost Oceans"- "Oceans Perdu."

I use this metaphor of the eight masts ship in several images of part four of Composite Memories titled " On the Beach" (Sur les bords de la Mer.)

note: This image concept was inspired by the title of a painting by Giorgio de Chirico titled : "The enigma of Arrival."

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