By Bob Booth
This painting has its origins partly in a book with the same title by W.J Peasley. The Last of the Nomads is about the last two aboriginal people living an unbroken and ancient way of life that reaches back beyond memory and myth holding before us the improbability and fragility of our common being. It is a sobering and chastening thought, a thought also never far away from the Christian tradition and its sources, as we are depicted as wonderers with no permanent home here.
I think that it was something of this powerful and unclear thought that was emerging during the making of this painting. The story that a painting holds is not often a narrative with a chronological structure; but it is a dynamic expression of some vital element of story. Something which cannot be confined to its material limits; a kind of life of its own which is also part of our life too.
Attempting to deliberately embody a story or meaning in a painting however, (what a friend of mine would call ‘trying to teach people something’) can be contrived and at odds with the nature of painting. Although material that seems very close to this is familiar in the history of Christian art for example, our experience is that the work almost invariably breaks out of its orthodox didactic role with a voice of its own and possibilities which are all the more powerful for being undefinable.
Perhaps it is partly this that drives us to be creative: the sense that what could be made is more than we can make, and more than we can think of.By Trinity Paintbox