The series called simply: Compositions, was begun in 2013, and was still in progress at the time of Daphne’s death. In her late 80’s, Daphne chose this series of structured canvases as the means of distilling motifs and themes that she explored throughout her artistic career. Like visual Sonatas, the series states her subject matter (both visually and conceptually), exploring and developing the themes, before restating the theme in a more complex and triumphant form.
With apparent references to childhood and adult memories, these works seem to allude to key locations and stages in the artist’s life. Composition 1, which bears traces of Daphne’s childhood in the Art Deco environment of Napier, seems to reference the beckoning sea, and the jagged waves of the Napier earthquake she lived through as a very young girl.
While continuing to explore the theme of puzzles and implied or hidden connections, also evident in 2012’s Nebulon Series, this series also demonstrates Daphne’s lifelong exploration of balance and movement, through the juxtaposition of colour and form. A colourist at heart, Daphne weighs each tone and colour, moving between images of rest, and those which seem almost to shake the viewer awake.
This series is also a testament to her vigour and passionate commitment to her craft, as she continued to paint for hours each day at her easel, despite her 90+ years, arthritis, macular degeneration, and failing heart.
For more background to this series, see our Youtube video: