Bright Eyes — Rachel Lindan
Inspiration / About the Art: It took me a long time and a lot of agonising over what to do for this piece for me to end up returning to my first idea. I did thorough investigation into things with links to the number 73, but nothing was inspiring me. The best lead I had was tantalum, the element which was number 73 in the periodic table, and perhaps doing a concept piece about the trade of it. But eventually I realised I was trying too hard and going too far afield for my ideas – the best works tend to come easily and from the heart. So I sat down and, drawing inspiration from my favourite book and film, Watership Down, I drew and painted the ‘Bright Eyes’ piece — named after a song from the soundtrack of the film and decorated with a quote used by the author, Richard Adams, at the start of a chapter in the book. The rabbit in the picture is in a similar abstract style to that in which El-Ehrairah is portrayed in the film. He has the necessary US penny for his eye and the number of the piece, 73, hidden in the pattern on his body.
As I said, Watership Down is both my favourite book and film. I think it can teach you everything you need to know about life without you even realising it. The camaraderie of the rabbits seemed appropriate to the way in which we were all coming together to raise money for the food banks, and the William Blake quote written on the piece felt very relevant to what we’re going to achieve. I put myself into this piece, rather than anything else, and I hope that connects with someone.
Significance of the Number: Honestly, there wasn’t any – I asked for a number at random and 73 is the one I got. I tried to find something to fit it and couldn’t, but in the end I think it fit the piece unintentionally – I was originally planning to write the number over and over in the background, but as I was drawing the shapes on the rabbit’s body the 7 just flowed into it, so I added the 3 next to it.
Materials: Acrylic paint, Indian ink, a US penny.
Size: 5 inches by 7.5 inches
About the Author: Rachel Lindan is a 20-year-old drifter from Stoke-on-Trent, England, unable to work or study due to the effects of myalgic encephalomyelitis and depression. She heard about the Penny Experiment through her very beautiful and talented friend Kelley Michelle who did piece #62.
‘Bright Eyes’ is the first painting Rachel has done in years – 2005 was both the year she began to get seriously ill and the year she stopped doing art academically. Since then Rachel’s output has slowly petered out into nothing. However, she hopes 2010 is going to be a year of trying to get herself better, and she thought there was no better way to start than to help someone else as she hopes to help herself. This painting is the start, and the starting up of her blog, shop and zine enterprise ‘Awaiting an Epiphany’ is the next step.
Price: This piece is not currently for sale: There are great reasons to purchase Penny Experiment art. If you would like to purchase Bright Eyes #73 or other artwork from this 100 Penny Postcard Art series, please email me and I will put you on my list to inform when this series is for sale.