Stunned by the events they had seen, the seven survivors, one old man, a youth, four nubile women and one child clung to the strong back bone on which they were now hurtling through the dark void towards the bright light.
Stuck in the past two of the women look backwards to what had been earth before the huge explosion had obliterated it and all its inhabitants; other than them.
One, the dying old man lies at the back of the raft, stuck in a twilight world and would soon join those other souls that had perished. The young man standing near him stares at the bright light at the end of the tunnel. His mother had always told him to stay away from the light. Nervously he worries that his time may also be near a conclusion.
Two women look out into the space through which they are travelling. They’re not frightened but overcome with the beauty of what had, when they had been on earth, appeared a black space but now close up they could see it contained all the colours of the rainbow. The red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet fill their hearts with joy, the beauty of it overwhelms them. Something this lovely was surely not something to be frightened of.
The child remains inquisitive, crawling as close to the end of the spine as possible to give her a better view. She didn’t have the young man’s knowledge of death. The explosion had happened so quickly she was unaware that the inhabitants of earth had actually died. Her journey had started simultaneously and her only emotion was curiosity.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel or should one stay away from the light?
This painting by an Australian artist Shannus O’Sullivan who studied at the Julian Ashton school of Art in Sydney in the 1950s and early 1960’s with the late Brett Whitely. He specialises in glaze painting.
This painting has given us many dinner party conversations and the above is my version of what the story of “the raft” is. You probably will have your own.
If any photographers have hints on how I could best take a photo to get the colours without the flash light I’d love to know.
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