In Rainbow Road, Caroline Oliver explores humanity’s desire for something greater yet ultimately intangible. Just as rainbows can be chased but never caught.
Caroline Oliver is a contemplative, passionate artist who strives to never stop growing, both personally and artistically. For her Rainbow Road series, she explores the notion of longing for something more. In C.S. Lewis’ sermon, The Weight of Glory , he touches on this very subject. “...the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness… it is a desire for
something that has never actually appeared in our experience, (yet,) our experience is constantly suggesting it… the beauty, the memory of our own past, are good images of what we really desire… for they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” Lewis’ perspective inspired Caroline to wonder, “Why is it that when
we experience something good, our soul aches for so much more? To grab onto peace and pleasure to a degree that we've never known and finally be right in the middle of what makes our hearts explode? Why is it that as soon as we realize the greatness of a moment, that moment is gone?” Conceptually, this brought Caroline to rainbows.
“I’ve loved rainbows literally since I was a toddler and could keep memories,” she says. The title references her painting style, which features vertical, horizontal and curving lines as well as pastel, neon and saturated “rainbow spectrum palettes.” The passage from C.S. Lewis addresses Caroline’s mindset as she’s grown over the years—to acknowledge this longing and learn to recognize what it is. She believes we all have this deep longing and can’t ever fully grasp what we’re really yearning for. Because Caroline’s faith teaches that this isn’t
our true Home, all of these good, pure things we love here on earth are just a shimmer of what’s to come when we’re at Home with our Savior. And rainbows are a perfect visual representation of this… as prisms, they are real but cannot be grasped. They are shimmering reflections of Light.