Watery Image

Where Are You Now, Chris Bucklow?
Sewanee, 2008

I love the way my friend Chris Bucklow thinks. The following arrived this morning by email from him, at about the same time I was editing the above image for an updated version of the ‘I Have Gone‘ folio. Synchronicity.

My own head is full of watery imagery too. Today a string of images force
themselves into my mind… a little series of ptgs of Titian’s battle with
Michelangelo… Titian showing the master of bounded form how to become porous and

But my wicked side wants to set it in a fictitious return visit of Michelangelo to see
Titian in Venice (sometime after Titian’s actual 1546 visit to see M. in Rome)… And
have Titian, Prospero-like, whip up a storm in the Venetian lagoon and drown the
poor bugger.  …. then I can paint the silent Venetian claws scuttling
across the ‘Venetian ooze’ (Blake’s term) of the lagoon bottom to cut M’s
skin from his hide! Such a painting would have to be called ‘Full Fathom
Five’ wouldn’t it! (with a nod to another more modern geezer who
dematerialized form and made the body porous).

I think Chris is referring to Shakespeare’s lines for Ariel’s song in the Tempest

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.

But, amazingly (Chris at it again) it is also the title for a rippling complex song by the Stone Roses.