A (kind of) review of Ornulf Opdahl at Northumbria Gallery

Ørnulf Opdahl Alnes

As part of a creative writing class I am taking part in, we went to see an exhibition of Ornulf Ophdahl paintings at Northumbria University’s gallery. The task of the class was to describe one of his paintings from the point of view of one of your own fictional characters. As a result what follows is a combination of fiction (my novel is a fantasy about a parallel universe filled with creatures with springs instead of legs) and review.

Notations of light flicker and crack under the weight of sky, endless sky. It is something so familiar and yet so abstracted from anything I could possibly ever know. There are hints of clouds amongst drips of rain, but nothing solid enough, nothing immediate enough for a springed creature to walk on.

Beneath the sky, when I can finally look away from the sky, is a town crushed against the canvas. Light is squeezed out of some of the buildings that must have windows, and then there are the flecks of white, fiercely nocturnal in their ambition to shine into the darkness.It seems hopelessly dramatic.A world where even the loudest scream of monotony could be squashed by that endless expanse of sky.

I’m back looking at the sky. For the first time I spot unobtainable stars, like ghosts laid out in foreign constellations. I want to lick them and I know they would taste fizzy. They seem to me to be globules of sherbert spat amongst the vaguest clouds.

‘You like it?’ asks Girl, in her arched, itchy tones.





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