This example of Action artwork was completed during the artist's Drip Period. Work from this period in his life include Eyes In The Heat and Shimmering Substance.
The Big Dipper painting was done in 1947, the year when Mahatma Gandhi began his march for peace. Pollock takes viewers on a journey as well, leading us with masterful strokes through time and space. While to some Action Painting may be confusing, to others it embodies pure freedom of movement.
Each stroke of the brush is designed to lead the eye in a specific direction. As we gaze at the stars, we may become captivated by the raw power evident in them.
The spots of dark colour in Pollock's painting recall the depth of the night sky. In summer or winter, the Big Dipper stands out. It is raw energy, juxtaposed against seemingly endless possibility.
Perhaps the painting reflects the artist's own inner journey. It may also be one he hopes that each viewer will take on their own. Within us, events and actions stand out.
Some are brighter than others, more vivid in our memories, because of the impact they have on us. They form a pattern that is beautiful to see. While seemingly disconnected, these brighter moments come together in a way that makes a remarkable impression on us and hopefully, on others.
As an abstract painting, the Big Dipper comes from the subconscious. It is raw and somewhat uninhibited. No one can be sure why Pollock chose to express himself through this theme. Yet it is certainly one which has inspired many throughout millennia.
Many have contemplated the vastness of the night sky on their journey home, using the Big Dipper to help them find their direction. In times of turmoil, perhaps reflecting on the beautiful spots in our past can help to steer us towards a brighter future.