Ystrad Rhondda

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Ystrad Rhondda Ernest Zobole 1957

Ystrad Rhondda, Ernest Zobole, 1957

Ystrad Rhondda

Author: Gerhard Kress

Written in response to ‘Ystrad Rhondda’ Ernest Zobole, (1957)

his blue period, dark blue, no danger of being overwhelmed by bright colours. perhaps the artist Zobole doesn’t do that. all is framed by two lines that eventually, but outside the picture, are destined to meet, were it not for a tall, wooden electricity pole, forcing my eyes back where the real tension is grouped around an empty bit of street.

it’s the expectancy of people on both sides, on their opposing pavements. most of them stationary but for two women in the bottom left corner on their way to the bottom right corner. perhaps they’ll walk out of the frame not concerned with the imminent arrival of that ‘something’ that is suggested to happen without hinting at, what it may be. and then there is a woman, standing and, like the wooden pole opposite, guarding to prevent my eyes from escaping the uncomfortable tension. there is both, stillness and tension. groups of two and three is as much interaction as I detect, with the exception of a boy holding on to the skirt of a woman who herself is holding in her arms a small, blonde child.

I am looking at this painting for a long time. not for what I can see but for what isn’t there. and I’m oscillating between wanting to know about the coming event, however fleeting it might be and feeling a slight dread as to the apparent disconnectedness of the onlookers, arbitrarily meeting in this gathering. in contrast I imagine bright sunshine and smiling faces.

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