Evening falls – My Dark Landscape

Lincolnshire is my “Dark Landscape” with its wonderful skies.
Seeing so far away, being so far away…

 Photograph taken looking west over Horncastle from the edge of the Wolds, March 2014

I recall hearing an interview with Enya on BBC Radio 4 in the early 1990s, when she was talking about her album Watermark and she explained the story behind a song Evening Falls…an American woman having a recurring dream where she is walking around a house with a candle in her hand. Years later she and her husband came to live in England, only to find that her neighbours were frightened of her! When she asked them why, she was told that she looked just like the ghost who had been seen in that house many times in the past. I will never forget that interview; it sent a chill down my back. I suppose I related to it so strongly because I had recently moved to a house in the English countryside and maybe because Enya and I come from the same area of North West Ireland; it was like listening to someone that I knew very well…and the music of course was so hauntingly beautiful.

Twenty years later I found myself working on a new body of paintings for my Lincoln exhibition, “Love in a dark landscape” for late October 2013. Having had a successful exhibition there in February “Love 20 years / 20 images” I was aware how I was “back on track” and full of enthusiasm and optimism…I had spent a wonderful summer listening to music for the first time in a very long time. Enya’s Watermark became a key album and in particular the songs “Evening Falls”…and “On Your Shore”…the mood of these songs mirrored my emotional state or maybe listening to the words influenced my subsequent works; not sure which.

From Evening Falls :
When the evening falls And the daylight is fading, From within me calls Could it be I am sleeping?
For a moment I stray, Then it holds me completely – Close to home – I cannot say,
Close to home feeling so far away.
Even though I leave will I go on believing That this time it is real – am I lost in this feeling?
Like a child passing through, Never knowing the reason; I am home – I know the way, I am home – feeling oh, so far away…

and from

On Your Shore :
Cool waves wash over And drift away with dreams of youth – So time is stolen I cannot hold you long enough.
Soft blue horizons Reach far into my childhood days – As you are rising To bring me my forgotten ways…
Strange how I falter To find I’m standing in deep water – Strange how my heart beats To find I’m standing on your shore …”

Seeing so far away, being so far away…

Above: Love in a dark landscape, clearing skies:

Brighter Later (Inspired by Nick Drake’s song Bryter Later)
October 2013; pastel 30 x 22″     
Private collection Lincolnshire.
Looking west over the vista, she sits with cats; he is below the tree in the distance with dogs.
A warm wind blows from the west…optimistic days ahead?

Below: Evening Sky...
“She waits alone, at the edge of a dark landscape,
hair clouding up the storm that has gathered in her heart.
Furl west…”

Below:   “Her hand as tree…” December 2013    Private collection Spain; 20 x 30 inches Acrylic on linen
Below: Night Visitation pastel / acrylic 2013; 30 x 22″ Private collection LincolnshireBelow: tiny box canvas in acrylic 7 x 5 inches; 2013 as titled in image…Below: Looking towards Tetford in the early spring 2014; digital drawing…2014 copyright phyllis mahon All Rights reserved. Phyllis Mahon is a member of DACS London


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