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Acrylic paint on canvas with metallic embellishment - work in progress

A different beauty reached out - 

Just a tiny bit,

But it was still too cool to venture far.

Deep, deep, deep in the dark earthy warmth,

New energy was stirring; 

A new song was being composed.

Its tune was Hope

And its melody Dance. 



TRACY METCALFErunning loose

I have been observing the cycle of the seasons for a while now; learning so much! So much I had not ever witnessed before when my pace was too fast. Now, I savour the nuances between one season and the next; one new moon to the next; one celebration to the next. And I am fascinated by how these shifts in awareness were celebrated by our ancestors forming ritual.

​Sun Dance

Flag book, acrylic gelli print, gold leaf, paper, card

May 2016 – in my makeshift garden studio I noticed how May brought with it the strength of the Sun’s energy. In our Western weather system of rain, and abundant Solway winds, the heat and the power of the Midsummer Sun marched through; even if it was short lived and in sporadic bursts. I was taken aback by its sincere strength. Had I never noticed this before?

I painted my response to this observation in intuitive fashion, in watery inks and masking fluid.

The heat.

His strength.

My surprise.

My growth.

When I decided to put together a piece of work for an exhibition with Cumbria Printmakers this year – at the time of the Summer Solstice 2017 – I decided I would focus on this snap shot of time; momentary, transitory; my understanding of an incredible expression of a body within our cosmos.

SUMMER SOLSTICE - Wednesday 21st June 2017
Sun enters Cancer 05:24 BST

"At the Summer Solstice the Sun has reached its climax. It is the longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice is the midpoint of the year; the peak of the Sun’s power, even though from now on it will be waning. Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate the creative power of the Sun. It is a time to reflect on both, the process of becoming and the process of death."

I had already begun to explore Line and what Line meant to me. I considered many things.

Line is a strong element of Sun Dance and forms part of my enquiry into Line.

As I read about the Sun's energy, I was drawn into another world of scientific language relating to natural phenomenon...

- coral mass ejections

- varied eruptions of mass and energy

- a continuous flow of charged particles

And I began to explore various types of threads and journeys they took across the surface of the gelli plate to create Sun Dance.

What makes you take notice?

The act of drawing in a place, or because of a place, whether it is a physical or an emotional place can be a very strong pull for me. Sometimes, I use unconventional drawing tools and materials to make a mark - really, whatever is to hand; lonin soil, petal, a dried stalk of some plant dipped in ink - whatever is instinctive. Drawings emerge spontaneously from that place and it feels good to express!

These thumbnail previews are part of a larger painting which celebrates the magic of the Celtic Festival of Imbolc.

This painting is an exploration into the mood and atmosphere of this moment in time; transient, magical, breath-holding.

I revisit this painting once a year only. It is executed outside, at night on the eve of Imbolc (February 1st).

It is my intention to allow the atmospheric and seasonal conditions play a part in its production. My next update with be February 1st 2018!