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Art Show: One Word Concept: Hidden

SOLD - Lovers Leap

by Shawn Marie Hardy

Banner for One Word Concept: Hidden art show

Art: SOLD - Lovers Leap by Artist Shawn Marie Hardy
I chose this for the "Hidden" show because of the symbolism behind this piece, and because the source of the mysterious light in the distance will never be revealed.

This was done after having a dream one night. I often dream of being lost in the trees - running through forests or tunnels of trees. Sometimes it seems these tunnels never end and I never reach a destination. This oil pastel drawing is as close to my dream as I can recall, and it was so vivid that I sat and completed this all in one go.

I had only just arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand and had not really seen the city or surrounding area, so I had no idea that there was a place nearby that resembled what I had just created from my mind on paper. I showed this to a friend there and he said, "that's Lovers Leap." I had heard of Lover's Leap, and I knew that it was a cliff that dropped to the ocean, where many people chose to end their lives, but I didn't know that a long tunnel of trees that curved around to the jumping point was part of it.. My friend took me there and I was stunned to find an eerie resemblance to my drawing - which was only titled after being there. Interestingly, I was staying in a house, owned by Graeme and Jo Downes, that was presumably haunted. I had several experiences there that were creepy, and I finally told Graeme one day that I believed he had a ghost. His reply was very nonchalant and he said that he was the only one in the house who hadn't experienced the presence of unearthliness. His wife and two daughters had either felt it or seen it. I later found out from other friends who stayed in the house that they had similar experiences.

After some research we found that the old Edwardian house was a birthing place for young mothers. We think the "ghost" we experienced may have been a man who was there looking for his wife. I knew it was male - I heard footsteps down the hall when I was alone and they were indicative of a long stride. Graeme's wife, Jo, saw him standing at her daughter's bedroom door and said he was very tall, which matched the footsteps I heard. I found out that the room I was staying in had been closed off when the house was purchased. They actually had to create a door opening. The room was cold, even on the hottest of days, and I slept with the light on after having feelings that someone was watching me at night. It was really an unnerving sensation. I now wonder if this drawing came to me for a reason - I like to think that perhaps this spirit wanted to send a message that he or she had ended their life at Lover's Leap, maybe after his wife died in child birth. The answer will probably always be hidden.

This piece ws done using Guitar oil pastels on watercolor paper and is in a private collection in Dunedin, New Zealand. Thanks Dave Randle.

Detail Image

Detail Image for art SOLD - Lovers Leap

The "real" Lover's Leap


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