For my exhibition Locus iste, in the Austrian Monastry, St. Florian, I installed my painting: Johann Sebastian Bach, Goldberg Variation in the large Reception room adorned with frescos by the Bartolomeo Altomonte (1694-1783). I was surprised how closely my work related in color and composition to the murals of this baroque painter.
I believe that the environment and culture, in which an artist grows up has great influence in their creativity.
My stay at the monastery made me aware how deeply this relationship with the Baroque, so rooted in Austrian culture, is anchored in me. It has strongly influenced my work over the years and still inspires new works.
The colour, the composition and freedom of elements in the painting, are all important components for my work and I admire and re-discover those qualities in the paintings and frescoes of the Baroque.
Since music is an essential part of my works, I find the music of the Baroque and the Austrian composer Anton Bruckner with its clear and spiritual statement a deep inspiration.
This return to my roots is perhaps the reason that I reconnected and use a paint technique for some of the works in the series, which I have not used for many years.
Reverse painting on glass (Hinterglasmalerei) is an art form consisting of applying paint to a piece of glass and then viewing the image by turning the glass over and looking through the glass at the image. Throughout the 19th century painting on glass was widely popular as folk art in Austria, I was introduced to this technique and found it very interesting and executed several works in this genre early in my career.
It was for me a logical decision to return to reverse painting on glass for some of the works in the peace on earth – pax in terra series.
I feel my recent paintings and reverse painting on glass are a direct, human and spiritual expression without confinement of the motif or formal restriction; yet still consist of all those elements that I have explored in my work over the years.
Ernestine Tahedl 2017