A thought about The Hallway
Painting by @hiddenblade
Yesterday I came across this stunning oil painting above by @hiddenblade. The moment I looked at it something hit me, and I keep thinking about it. So, I thought I should write about it to at least try and get my unorganized thoughts in order. The intent is not to review hiddenblade’s painting, but to express my personal thought when I observe a painting. It will be my observation, and more importantly, my imagination will be quite different from the artist‘s and certainly from other viewers. That’s why people hang a painting on their wall (at least I do)!
I will keep it in two parts, facts and interpretation (rather imagination)
This is a painting of a Hallway. It’s dark. The view is from an average height person, similar to the height of the lady pushing the wheelchair (I will explain, why the height matters). The floor has shiny tiles, with mirror like finish. That almost gives an impression of a hospital, but the darkness perhaps leads my mind towards a mental institution (that’s perhaps an interpretation, sorry for mixing). The perspective and vanishing point is textbook, as taught in art school. I notice the ceiling dividers visible in the foreground but not at the distance, perhaps due to the flooding nature of the distant light. The red streak on the ‘nurses’ head is artist’s personal signature. It is not reflected on the floor. There are handrails on either side (like an ‘institution’s’ hallway). The nurse is walking. I don’t think there is anyone sitting on that wheelchair (nah, I am certain that there is no one sitting on that wheelchair).
In a way this perhaps remind people of the hallway featured in the movie Insidious. Maybe, what lies ahead along the hallway or even beyond the hallway. The artist herself thought about that. However, there is something wrong with that Insidious image above. Did you notice? People are taught in art school that horizon line, the vanishing point, should be level with the eye line of the viewer. Now do you see what’s wrong with the image. If you assume Elise’s height, that vanishing point is far too high. Why? You can have your own interpretation, but I will argue it is from someone’s perspective, who’s eye level is at least 2 ft higher than Elise 😊……. Someone floating in air… 😊 but that’s on the side… we digress...
No, I didn’t think about Insidious, when I first saw the painting. I thought about The Shining. I thought about both Kubrick’s masterpiece of a movie and the King’s 1977 novel by the same name. The book is more vivid than the movie in my mind. However, the movie had multiple scenes with hallways. Like the iconic scene below:
Notice the low camera angle as the same level of the trike. Or the shot below:
From the perspective of an adult standing behind Danny.
These are the hallways I thought first, although none of them has tiled floor with mirror finish. It is the mirror finish that is the critical element of hiddenblade’s painting in my opnion. But lets get to that at the very end for punch.
The young nurse a pushing a wheelchair. Why an empty wheelchair? Is she going to pick up a patient? Or she is pushing an ‘invisible’ patient. Is the nurse a patient herself? Who’s inside these rooms? Are they well? Why the wheels slightly turned to the left? These are the questions I wonder, and I answer all of them in my mind. I basically have seeds for a short story 😊
Finally let us talk about the floor. Here, I am certain, that the artist didn’t see it this way. But I do, and I will tell you what I see. Let me flip the painting for the effect!
I see the reflection looking straight at me, that’s the front of her face. She has the hair covering the front of her face, but I can still her eyes behind her hair….