Shaun Downey: In the Afternoon

Shaun Downey, In the Afternoon, 2014, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches. © Shaun Downey / Courtesy of Bau-Xi Gallery

Have you ever felt lonely and empty in your own home?

When I visited Bau-Xi Gallery, in the middle of March, this painting really moved me above all others. I think that many of us could relate to it. The woman in the painting seems to be dressed for an occasion. She has been waiting for something – perhaps for someone – feeling sad, lonely, and left behind. Maybe she was with someone the night before. It is “In the Afternoon” and she is definitely waiting. Her facial expression captures an emotion of loneliness – she is not frowning but she seems to be totally alienated in this lovely bedroom.

The details in this canvas really capture the emotions that the artist wants to convey. The bold shadows used in the room to make it look dark, the highlights in the window to show a ray of sunshine coming in – emphasizes the emptiness and darkness of the room. She is not looking towards the light that’s coming in, but searching for something in the darkness. The room seems to be very empty, almost as if it is a representation of how she feels inside. The use of browns and whites gives the painting a very subtle look.

Still, she sits waiting.

Rumaisa Baqa

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