This watercolour painting depicts a scene of contrast and contradiction. It shows the moment when King Charles III, the newly crowned monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms, rides in the Golden State Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey for his coronation ceremony.
The people are gathered along the mall, the ceremonial road that connects the palace and the abbey. They are waving flags of different colours and shapes, representing the various nations and regions of the king's realm. They are cheering and clapping, expressing their joy and loyalty.
The sky above is filled with fireworks and jets. The fireworks are exploding in bright colours and shapes, creating a dazzling spectacle. The jets are flying in formation, leaving trails of red, white and blue smoke. They are part of the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force aerobatic team. They are performing a flypast to honour the king and his coronation.
The painting captures the celebration of this historic event, but it also hints at the challenges and uncertainties that lie ahead. The watercolour technique creates a soft and fluid effect, suggesting a sense of impermanence and fragility. The colours are bold with bright colours and darker hues reflecting a mood of melancholy and nostalgia. The perspective is tilted and distorted, implying a sense of instability and imbalance. The paintings sense of mood and darkness contrasting with the light reveals that behind the pomp and glory of the coronation, there are signs of trouble and discontent.
The painting invites the viewer to reflect on the meaning and purpose of monarchy in the modern world. It asks whether the king can fulfil his role as a symbol of stability and continuity in a time of change and crisis. It asks whether the people can support their king as a leader of justice and mercy in a time of injustice and suffering. It asks whether the world can find peace and harmony in a time of war and chaos.
23 Limited prints are avaliable for this painting