Diary of an Exhibition – Dreams and Symbols


‘Homeward Bound’ Sea Chest


On Boxing Day after finishing painting and writing about ‘Homeward Bound’ I texted this photo to an extraordinary man I know who has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time.  I knew he was spending Xmas alone in quiet contemplation. It felt important to send it to him.


His reply – ‘Christ almighty!’. and shortly after a second text …


‘Dreamt last year was exploring a huge attic – I found an old chest and opened it. Was full of old embroidered cloths, gold brocades and gold chains – that is the chest in my dream. I especially remember the picture.’


I phoned him.


What followed was an amazing conversation about the symbols of the gold and jewels and the incredible embroidered patterned textiles that he described in further detail, being a metaphor for the music he still has to compose.

His unrealised, unfinished creativity. That the dream was a gift.


‘Your reminder of that dream is perfect timing’, he said, ‘literally half an hour before I came to know that the time left here on planet earth, and unknown but finite time, is to be creative. I am scared, but I am excited too. This has made me certain of what I have to do.’


‘I saw this quote today from Isaac Asimov, the great scientist and writer’ he continued

‘Asimov was asked what would you do if you only had a year to live.’

His reply – ‘Type faster.’


The symbol of the ship was traditionally a tattooed badge of honour that sailors would get after sailing round the notoriously dangerous waters of the Cape of Good Hope.


‘You have already sailed the Cape of Good Hope defeating illness once, the stormy dangerous sea. Now you are called to sail again, this time with a treasure chest of golden cloth…’
‘Kirsten, I want you to be my magic seeing mirror for this next journey…when I hold it up and look at myself in the mirror, I see you … keeping me moving forward in creativity.’
‘Yes!’ (Finding it hard to write what I feel about this. Yes is a powerful word!)


The ship  represents passage – our life journey

From one life to another

Earth bound to spirit (a gift for my dad)

For my friend, the passage from teacher, to which his life has been devoted, to composer – a different energy, a different voyage.

The beginning of new journey … an exciting one, but one on a stormy dangerous sea.


Clouds – emotions, change, problems, drama.

The stars – guides, hope, the cosmic up, thinking up, inner strength. 9 stars representing an ending,  a completion of 2016.


Water represents emotion. But it is also our planet and our body.

Water is everywhere – the clouds and vapours in the air, the water held in earth, water composing the majority of all living things. And water transmits vibration and stores memory. The body is 70 percent water. Healing, life giving water.

Water is flow, water is the vehicle for the painting

Without water the tree that became the chest would not have grown …


The sails – Harnessing the power of the wind, our thoughts, our inspiration, to move forward

The waves – Energy and movement, change, fear, depth and surface, form and the formless, undercurrents

The angels guides, the unseen, the unknown, the mysterious, hope, trust, faith and love, history and time, flights of fancy

Two angels The number 2  – union, mother father, two hands, symmetry

The circle – represents wholeness, birth, nothing and everything, eternity

The rope around the circle – ties, binds, the things that hold us safe but also stop us, connections, strength, weaving, creating


The treasure chest – our unique gifts and talents, our individual creativity, totally unique to us … our gold …

The Chest also represents the body as a container for our heart and soul …

keeping our treasures or our emotions close to our chest, hidden or opening our abundant treasure chest and releasing them fearlessly into the world.


None of us are getting out of here alive, how we spend our time is of the essence…


When we create something we never know who or how is is going to inspire or move another person forward… and move ourselves forward to in the process … dreams turning to gold … trust the creative flow …


There is treasure in store, me hearties!





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