Alan White, White Album Cover / The Old Bridge, 2006/2018
© Roger Dean

Alan White, White Album Cover / The Old Bridge, 2006/2018

Print
By Roger Dean
About the image
Painted for the cover of Alan White's solo album, "White".

"There are two parts to the story of this painting, starting with the "Bridge". Bridges are a theme I keep exploring as they play a major role in the choreography of both real and metaphysical pathways as in the "Way," "Do," or "Tao." Floating Islands are also a theme that I keep wanting to explore, usually in these paintings I am exploring both the ability of these landforms to convincingly "Float" but also be capable of "intentional" movement.

However unlike many of these paintings, with "The Old Bridge" I also wanted to convey a sense of permanence and stability, notwithstanding the fact that the bridge, over millennia, is gradually breaking up and drifting apart. It is still there, it can still just be used and forms both a physical and spiritual "gate" on the path.

The second part of the story concerns the owl; the guardian of the bridge, again this is both a real creature and a symbolic one. The owl featured is a European Eagle Owl living in Carla Lane's animal sanctuary in Sussex, where I sketched, photographd and eventually painted it. The Bridge needed a guardian, a sentient being, but not necessarily human, so it is here that the owl takes on its symbolic role as "Gatekeeper". In the painting the owl is looking towards the Bridge, but in the print it is turning towards the viewer.

Whilst I was producing this painting I kept Alan White, drummer with YES, informed of my progress sending him sketches and images of the painting as a work in progress and he kept his record label informed. But to our dismay, they released the album with the unfinished cover - without the owl. He asked them to immediately reprint with the correct cover, which they did, but for those who are interested the album now exists with and without the owl!"

Release Notes:
The painting was completed in 2006, the print was published in 2018.

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Alan White, White Album Cover / The Old Bridge, 2006/2018
Alan White, White Album Cover / The Old Bridge, 2006/2018