Whatever the cause of the restless mind - be it haunting memories of military service, or a childhood trauma, or something else – when night falls, and the fear grows in the darkness, we seek some form of light that can guide us through those frightening times. In this picture, the moonlight represents that source of light, reflecting the light of the sun.
The source of light, during those difficult periods, can be an individual such as a good friend or a loved one, or an organisation that specialises in helping those suffering from mental health by offering call lines, with a friendly voice at the other end.
The moon has long been an important symbol. It is out during the night, so we naturally associate it with darkness. When it’s not completely illuminated, the nights are darker and for that reason, they might seem even scarier. So, even if the moon is bright sometimes, it is primarily a symbol of darkness. This is partly because it is the polar opposite of the sun. The latter is significantly brighter than the moon, so it seems like the moon is pale in comparison.
We tend to connect the moon to the darker side of our character. This part of us remains hidden, just like the dark side of the moon that is never seen from Earth.
This polar difference between the moon and the sun is displayed in the characters of each. The sun is hot and bright, while the moon is cold and not as bright as the sun, even when it is full. Moonlight cannot exist without the light of the sun reflecting off its surface.
When we sleep at night, we don’t know exactly what’s happening around us. The night is full of secrets and mysteries, which we can connect to our subconscious thoughts; dark thoughts which we don’t like to shed light on.
When the moon is full, it is believed to have a strong effect on everything living on Earth. Sometimes, we are moody or especially nervous because of this.
The second symbol in the painting is that of a poppy field. From the devastated landscape of the battlefields of The Great War, the red poppy would grow from the graves of the fallen and, thanks to a famous poem, became a symbol of remembrance.
‘Through the Night’ painting intends to acknowledge and comfort anyone who is affected by sleepless nights or PTSD, through any cause, especially when there has been a loss of someone in their lives.
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