City Lupins by Lynne Ciacco
In this intriguing picture by artist Lynne Ciacco, a tangle of lupin flowers and branches obscures the house behind. Nature is taking over, perhaps even barring the way. The muted colours give a melancholy atmosphere, and the green in the foreground ceases to denote leaves, and hints at creeping damp on the outside walls.
Shadows beneath the tracery are not immediately apparent, but they are there, and once noticed, they seem to grow. Even the blue sky is overrun, as the house bleeds into it, blocking out the light. It makes for a rather eerie and intense disorder – or is that just how I choose to read it?
It reminds me very much of the scene that greeted us when we first arrived at our property here. It was July and a relentless sun had supercharged weeds and wildflowers in the courtyard. The grass on the terraces was thigh-high. In the five months since we had first seen it in winter (below), the place seemed to have changed and slumped further into decay, its bare bones reclaimed by a surging wildness.
Inside, the smell of mouse was overpowering. Drifts of dry leaves had found the corners of every room. Dead insects crunched under our feet. Scorpions scuttled up walls. We camped on stone floors, took note of the many large structural cracks in the buildings, and hoped for the best.
That first daunting summer, in between restoring order outside, sweeping and scrubbing, and meeting builders, I re-read Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and wondered…what if I had come here knowing less about the countryside I was in and the man I was with? Who had lived here before us, and did anything of them remain? That’s when I started writing…
Lynne Ciacco lives and works in Atlantic Canada. She has a fine art degree (BFA) from the Emily Carr Institute in
and works in diverse media, from acrylics to pastel and watercolours, as well as textiles. City Lupins is an example of her digital art using textured layers and blending modes. You can find her website here and her art blog here. Vancouver