The invitation to exhibit in Switzerland gave John Doubleday the opportunity to revisit a theme addressed in his 1973 Exhibition at The Richard Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh. It was based on the Swiss story of a massive bell being transported over a mountain pass.
The 2012 paintings are based on the expression of independence of a protestant community against the domination of the Bishop of Interlaken. The remarkable circumstances are used as a metaphor of the bell standing for the thing which each of us holds most dear. We all have a perception of that which makes us ourselves. We all have our own bell. For some, it is light. For others, it is heavy. Values may be expressed through the individual or through the community.
Chaos: In the chaos of adversity there will always be those who seek a remedy.
Motivation: This painting is concerned with the implementation of a plan.
Commitment: The fulfilment of a dream involves struggle, exhaustion and even the desolation of moments of despair. For the dream to be realised the effort has to triumph over all difficulties.
Threshold: The liminal state, when anticipation transforms into realisation, is marked here by the appearance of an omen. A chough may appear un-expectedly in the high Alps and for a moment time is held still. Here, the chough appears at the gateway where one reality becomes another.
Cunning: This is about the alternative view. The old man has decided that the carrying of a heavy bell is not for him. Bells can be carried by livestock.
Fulfilment: Here the moral and ethical values of the bell are carried on through pregnancy, birth and upbringing to the next generation.
Dream: Here the dream is fixed in the man’s head. It is the idea which cannot be separated from the self. The bell is that which gives the individual their sense of being.
Dissolution: Here an omen reappears to relieve the individual of the responsibility for the bell. It passes to other generations.
The sketch from 1970 was recently reacquired by the Artist. The large painting, Liminal State is in a private collection. The Series in its entirety was sold to The Jungfrau Railways, Switzerland.