Before the run, January 2022
Oil on plyboard
41cm x 51cm x 4cm
This painting depicts the early morning start of the annual Sri Chinmoy 100km Centenary Trail Run. This is an event people do in teams, in pairs or by themselves, around Canberra. It takes participants up and over many of the accessible Trig points and this year, I was supporting my partner who was doing the event in a team of two.
At the start of an event like this, there’s always a lot of pent-up nervous energy. People are anticipating something they have trained for weeks, months or even years. They know it’s going to be a journey of self discovery, often through pain. There’s also almost always an element of the unknown. Mostly, if you’ve trained well, you’ll be fine. Sometimes, things go wrong, you stumble, or the weather is foul, you feel terrible and wished you paid more attention to your nutrition. It’s all part of the process.
In this painting, people are ambling around, on the red gravel, doing what they do to feel less nervous before the start: some will be talking excessively; some will be reliving past glories; some will be reflecting on their lack of preparation; some will be going over their clothing choices. They will all feel better once they get started.
Painters, however, make unreliable witnesses and I’ve changed many of the aspects of this scene to make a better composition, suit my own needs and world view. Being able to recreate the world as how I would like it to be is part of the magic of being creative. Without trying to sound superior, I do this with love and a view to reducing injustice to others, rather than through anger. Kim’s shoes, for example, while especially big and paddle board like, were not really this big.