Nothing Gold Can Stay was shown at the RHA from 11 March until 30 April 2022. The title of this work comes from the Robert Frost poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Nothing Gold Can Stay took over a year to complete. It is made up of 100 wooden panels and is approximately nine feet square. Because it was too large to fit on one wall of my studio, I had to paint it in sections and rotate the panels. This is the first time I will see it as one piece.
Frost writes, Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold, referring to the impermanence of nature. During Covid we have been bombarded with around-the-clock news of the pandemic and the threat to our own mortality. The poem, with changing seasons as a metaphor for life, captured much of what I was thinking about while making this work.
I became interested in the use of gold while living in Japan. In many houses and castles the use of gold on murals could bring light into windowless rooms. When the painting was nearly completed I added gold leaf to the edges of the painting and created a kind of halo around its perimeter. In changing light the gold glows and reminds us of the transience of our own lives
Back to Top