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Symbols from Egyptian mythology recur in Lynette Cooney's most recent exhibition-the creator god Ptah, the Apis bull, the baboon form of Thoth, god of wisdom and of writing, and a falcon-headed figure, reminiscent of the god Horus. The Patek dwarf is represented by dwarf-life figures in several paintings.
Such symbols blend with more personal images to present us with 'windows' on the artist's dreamworld. In her commanding vision of The Trinity a circular, mandala-like, frame encloses three significant male figures in her life, her husband, her son and the enigmatic idealised Ptah figure who regards the viewer with an even, unblinking stare that seems to collapse time and space.
Contrasting energies emerge in these works. There is the strong masculine presence of The Trinity and in the phalliclike mountains which appear in several paintings. By way of contrast, elements of nurture emerge in the Woman in a Space and in Hug your Self, where light rays emerge from the head of a woman cradling a baby. This Isis or Madonna image is bordered on two sides by Thoth baboons, providing a strong, protective barrier against outside intrusion. Nurture is also demonstrated in Comfort. Here a male figure gently supports and cradles the head of a reclining woman in his lap. Painted on golden, New Guinea rosewood, this small icon-like painting reveals Cooney's masterful use of the natural woodgrain to provide depth and context to her painting.
Breaking with her previous practice, Cooney no longer provides extensive titles or detailed descriptions of her works, preferring to leave her narrative open ended. This amplifies the surreal quality of the paintings, reflecting the fact that dreams are not bounded by time or space.