Voices on the Wind
Voices from Teen Years
Boat Lane, 1967
by David Chorlton
Painting the lane at the back of his house is like painting in the dark to the artist
who records the scene in order to escape it. He is still young and does not know what
it means to take hold of a few houses with the crowns of summer trees above their roofs
and make an arrangement of grey, white and brown. He thinks that to paint one must see
as a camera sees and he is afraid to lie. What he doesn't know is that his hand obeys
the dreamer inside him who chooses the scene with its lonely lamppost, the upturned
bathtub in the yard at the back of the open gate, the rubber tire that is in the picture
because nobody has taken it away and the dreamer sees everything. There is just enough
shadow to give form to the walls. Light can only be hinted at in the city where the artist
lives but when he finds the picture again more than thirty years later he becomes the
dreamer at last. Are the houses still standing? Does the lane still lead to a river?
How silently the bricks lay on top of each other. As if they were beautiful.