This depiction of the last moments of Rubashov, Arthur Koestler’s protagonist in Darkness at Noon epitomises the coming of age that I experienced when first reading this book as a teenager. Once read, never forgotten. This book describes the last days of a political prisoner who comes to the realisation that the tables have turned and while he once sentenced prisoners to death by firing squad, now he too is about to experience the same fate.
Reading Darkness at Noon, challenged me profoundly. It asked me if there is such a thing as a definitive right or wrong, good or bad. Who is anyone to judge another. Who has the right to take life? Why is it acceptable for the law to make these decisions, when the law is fickle and changes with time. Is it right to take life in any circumstance – legal or otherwise? What must it be like to know of the exact time of one’s death? Is to live in terror to live at all?
I do not know the answers to any of these questions, however I was able to come to some personal conclusions. I believe that values and righteousness is in a state of flux, justice is malleable, there is no certainty of right and wrong, and nobody deserves to have their life deliberately and consciously taken from them.
In this piece, Rubashov’s head hits the floor, eyes widened in acknowledgment of his fate as we can see ourselves reflected in the pools of blood that start to flow.
This piece had finer detail sandblasted into the surface before applying black enamel linework to the reverse side of the glass. Coloured acrylic was then airbrushed over the linework, before flipping the glass. The glass was then slightly offset from a sheet of mirror and framed together with a slim black frame.
104cm x 75cm | 10.2kg
Glass over mirror with slim black frame holding the two layers apart. Strung and ready to hang.