Whale Dreaming – Chloé de Buyl-Pisco


Billy Shannon

Acrylic on canvas
102 x 122cm


Whilst developing Whale Dreaming – Chloé de Buyl-Pisco,  Billy Shannon talked at length with Chloé about her feelings around whales, her political beliefs and her connection to nature generally. Chloé is both an acrobat and a dancer and is quite obsessed with whales. The main inspiration for ‘Whale Dreaming – Chloé de Buyl-Pisco’ came from an experience of Chloé’s on a whale-watching trip that went on for several days. One night she turned all the external lights off and lay on the bow of the boat to meditate. At some point, several Humpback whales came close and were calling as she continued to be still, meditating, listening and feeling them for quite a while. In this painting, Billy is exploring her connection and excitement at merging with the whales to the extent of incorporating a whale form into the sleeping Chloé.
Billy writes: “Chloé was great to work with, intellectually sharp and she has very strong political opinions. Also, Chloé almost always sleeps with a light on and a cloth over her eyes, which was really convenient for painting as I didn’t have to worry about the studio lights bothering her! Many of Chloé’s dreams involve whales and relate to her connectedness with nature.

The breaking up of the physical form and merging with nature is a recurrent motif of Billy Shannon’s work. In paintings like ‘Under the Bodhi tree – the meditator disappears’, the physical form dissolves almost entirely.

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