Skip to content

Melancholy Woman: Lament for a Broken Union

Sometimes in life you receive news that shocks you to the core. News which wrenches the inside of the stomach, infiltrates the heart and mind, brings tears to the eyes and fills your life, your hopes and your ambitions with darkness. I have lived through the pain of death, and the anguish of heartbreak. And all I can say is that that same physical reaction as I had experienced before once again engaged with my total metal and corporal being when last Friday I awoke to the news that the UK had voted to leave the European Union.

There is much that can be said of a Union which has grown too big, of laws unruly, of an organisation stretched beyond its limits, but there is very little which can justify the decision of 52% of the UK’s voting population opting to leave the EU for what were utterly anachronistic, completely unintelligent and sickeningly ignorant reasons. A  wave of xenophobia, which has long infiltrated English society, was normalised by a leave campaign which popularised an exit from the EU as being an excuse to cleanse the country of foreigners and in so doing exercise what they lauded to be the action of “taking the country back”. Such a move does not enable Britain to become in any way stronger, nor more progressive. It is a retrograde step which will see the nation isolated, deprived economically and falling far outside the progressive benefits of a globalised society.

It is a move which has already seen the value of the pound plummet, the political system spiral into disarray, and the relationship of the UK notably deteriorate with its neighbours and allies near and far. In leaving the EU, those who wished to reinstate an England of the past have robbed its future generations of an actively mobile, economically stable future, all the while forgetting, with an unfathomable level of hypocrisy, that the England of the past was a country whose very success and global position had been marked by its own breed of imperialism and abuse of other countries and cultures overseas.

Little more can be said to best express my feelings of dismay at this time. Embarrassment of being English is coupled with my fears of being like a disconnected refuge living abroad without the rights and the freedoms to which I have become so easily accustomed all my life.

Melancholy Woman FINAL

Melancholy Woman: Lament for a Broken Union (after Picasso) (2016, acrylic on canvas ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

In reflecting on this time, I turned to art, as I always have in times of happiness and grief. When I saw the painting by Picasso, Melancholy Woman (1902), I felt engaged by a work of art which appeared to me to sum up the emotions of the moment. Taking a spare canvas, and moving immediately to paint an interpretation of the work, I created my own Melancholy Woman in the abstractive interpretative style which has shaped the body of my recent creations. In repainting this work, I have kept to Picasso’s expertly chosen colour palette, founded of his famously melancholic blue period, replacing his forms with a more geometric gathering.

http://art-picasso.com

Melancholy Woman: Lament for a Broken Union (after Picasso) (2016, acrylic on canvas ©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

 

My melancholy woman laments, like Picasso’s, for an intense heartbreak. I imagine his protagonist wept over some lover, some union lost. My woman also weeps for a broken union. The European Union. Broken by those who entirely misunderstood the modern world, proactively destroying the future of those who might still have benefitted from it. What happens next, no one knows.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

Advertisements
13 Comments Post a comment
  1. I experienced the same feeling. The feeling of loss and profound sadness. I had followed the debate (the disgraceful debate) on the BBC, and the wordiness of it all, the hollowness of its content, the same ancestral fears being displayed with disregard to human decency and the overwhelming feeling that something was just wrong gripped me. Should this be the beginning of Western decadence. The failings of the elite coupled with the common people’s laziness of mind, and loss of insight. Some say this is a good thing, for it will oblige all to reevaluate their positions, maybe change for the better. Personnally I fear this is going to result in a massive waste of time in an ever faster changing world. I love what you have done with Picasso’s painting. It is extremely inspiring.

    June 29, 2016
    • Thank you so much Julie, and for your insightful, spot on comment. What a waste of time, money and ambitions this change will undoubtedly turn out to be. No matter how hard we try in life, we must ride the current of the turbulent waves of history which continue to affect selected generations unwittingly. Now it’s out turn I fear.

      June 30, 2016
    • “The failings of the elite coupled with the common people’s laziness of mind, and loss of insight.”

      I am wondering, who, exactly, are “the common people”?
      A more patronising description it would be hard to find.

      July 3, 2016
      • Western democracies are all experiencing the same vulnerability, which is the growing lack of interest for traditional politics from the “common people”( me and you maybe). This has led many people to side with novel political figures and ideas that border on the extreme and sometimes lack insight,just for the sake of it. Also because it’s easier. That is what I meant by “laziness of mind” and “lack of insight”. I didn’t mean to sound patronising. If I did I’m truly sorry.

        July 3, 2016
  2. Julia CW #

    My sentiments entirely. Utterly bewildering.

    June 29, 2016
  3. Good statement in words and lines Nicholas. I have seen plenty manipulatives at work and their effect on uninformed people. I agree it is a step back.

    June 29, 2016
  4. Celia Glass #

    Baben, you’re amazing, so eloquent. Feeling similarly dismayed, it’s a proper full-on gut sensation, isn’t it. How are things with you otherwise? Love you Baben Xxx

    June 29, 2016
  5. Very well said and no words to respond to it; just you are not leaving us just fade away;cheers

    June 29, 2016
  6. “but there is very little which can justify the decision of 52% of the UK’s voting population opting to leave the EU for what were utterly anachronistic, completely unintelligent and sickeningly ignorant reasons.”

    Despite the much publicised xenophobic incidents following the vote, (publicised, I might add, by the mainstream media which, so it seemed to me, was overwhelmingly in favour of Remain), I reject the claim that 52% of the voters were motivated by the reasons which you ascribe to them. People voted to leave for a variety of reasons. Many people felt the people of Britain had been tricked into a Union whose ultimate aim is, indeed, the merging of the individual countries of Europe into a single, super-state, where the power is centralised in Brussels and concentrated in the hands of bureaucrats who were not elected by the people, cannot be removed by the people and are, in fact, a law unto themselves. This has nothing to do with racism or xenophobia.

    July 3, 2016
    • I of course accept that not all 52% voted for xenophobic reasons (although being married to a Polish national, I can tell you that xenophobia in the UK is real, very real, and far from being a case of overinflation by the press). However the view espoused in your comment that one reason to vote leave is the belief that the Union’s ultimate aim is to trick member states into unwittingly becoming part of a single super-state is, and I stand by my view, unintelligent and ignorant. I have studied EU law. I have worked as a lawyer for the British government. I am not influenced by the press but by my own experience. And I can tell you now that such a belief is an absurdly inflammatory misinformed fabrication of fact. Europe united for strength, for economic progress, and to hold a prominent position in an increasingly globalised world. All the UK has done to remove itself is to go back to the dark ages. Xenophobic or not, things don’t get much more anachronistic than that.

      July 6, 2016
      • “However the view espoused in your comment that one reason to vote leave is the belief that the Union’s ultimate aim is to trick member states into unwittingly becoming part of a single super-state is, and I stand by my view, unintelligent and ignorant. ”

        And what do you think Merkel and other leaders mean when they urge “an even closer union”, when they want a European army instead of individual armies of sovereign states, a uniform foreign policy, uniform immigration policy, uniform welfare policy, uniform health policy etc.?

        Secondly – are you saying that holding to the belief that this was the ultimate aim of the Union is “unintelligent and ignorant”, or that daring to oppose such an aim is “unintelligent and ignorant”?

        BTW – it is not the member STATES who are being tricked (in the sense of their governments – many of whose leaders, who supported entry into the Union, knew perfectly well what they were getting into) but the PEOPLE of those member states.

        July 19, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Inspired by my surroundings: Paseo Mallorca 1 | The Daily Norm
  2. La Señora de Granada | The Daily Norm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: