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Notes towards a Speculative Fiction
November 14, 2017 - January 21, 2018
Tim Thatcher, The Moment of Flames (2003), acrylic and varnish on board.
Ground Floor Galleries
There is a Kingdom; there is a King.
Tim greeted me at his front door. He led me in to the ballroom where I was struck by plush deep blue wallpaper and the warmth of a roaring fire. I immediately joined Cosmos his pet unicorn by the hearth. Someone behind us dressed in bishop’s garb prepared cocktails for the gathering. Tarzan and Jane stood by a large window with the curtains drawn letting in the darkness of the night. I spoke with Cosmos. We felt ready to start our journey, the fire had fortified our spirits.
I saw Hamburger Reaper, so grim, dressed in black with a mighty axe. He was prime executioner as he stood over a tree trunk which served as his block. Hamburger announced it was now time for little Robert to die. Robert knelt and laid his small head on the block. With a swing of the axe his head came free, spraying blood in the air. The birds in the trees—those dying generations—at their song, the salmon falls, the mackerel-crowded seas. Hamburger’s handiwork was behind him on show, two barrels painted pink oozing crimson in the soil.
It was daybreak as I came with Cosmos to a desolate seashore. The black iron sand stung our feet, wind blew in our faces and we heard the roar of the ocean in the background. A bare-chested man stood with a paper bag over his head holding a staff with three blades that dripped blood. He sent a pack of five vicious hyenas on to us. Cosmos fought off their attack one by one. We then walked to the water’s edge and saw an island in the distance. There we saw a single tree with two women sitting on a long branch partly in flames.
My position as Night Watchman at Grand Museum was usually uneventful but not this time. An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick. One evening after midnight, I was walking outside in the courtyard and came upon two figures in combat. There was a bear-like creature standing tall on two feet with long claws and teeth, holding a flag aloft. The other was a little man holding a spear, nude except for a long beaver skin on his head with beaver teeth hanging over his face. They fought each other brutally to a bitter stalemate.
In the big green amphitheatre stood a grand piano positioned on a huge bear-skin rug. On the railing above were the spectators: Kiwi and a special species of Kiwi with wings flying in the night sky. Tarzan and Jane gave the evening performance, wearing only skirts and holding their weapons aloft. They re-enacted an ancient tribal rain dance which seemed to work very quickly. A sudden deluge made the arena fill up with water and the piano floated like a boat on the bear skin rug.
We travelled a long way through many climes and became lost in thick jungle. Once out of nature I shall never take my bodily form from any natural thing. Our spirits were low as it all became a struggle. With the advent of night, it was vital to find a quick escape from the possible risk of attack. The evening was warm and we came to a river with fast flowing rapids. Cooling off suddenly became very appealing; we jumped in and drifted downstream. The water became rough and dangerous as we were taken to a waterfall. ‘Oh poor Cosmos!’ Alas he did not survive but his life was sacrificed for mine. I stayed afloat with his body as we drifted into a large pool. Watching us was an apparition, a fair maiden in a bikini cooling her feet in the water.