this is a project very close to the essence of what i am doing. the images come from my study of arcane artifacts and ancient art forms – i have various sketch books devoted to these things – the most direct influence are misericords: http://www.misericords.co.uk/ medieval sculptures for elderly monks to park their creaky, syphilitic (only joking) posteriors.
the subject matter is often rude. which was appealing.
i read a book called ‘the world turned upside down’ by christopher hill: it covers the many revolutionary peasant sects which flourished about and fuelled the english revolution before cromwell stamped down on them. many of the philosophies had lived on to inform wiliam blake. anarchy, mysticism and republicanism. it is a wonderful book.
a book on misericords caught my eye; called ‘the world upside down, english misericords’ by christa grossinger and that is when i took to the scatology and peculiar fables. i started to sketch from them and cut them down to basic shapes and let other influences trickle in – celtic and Scandinavian line drawing (pre-christian) / cave paintings / medieval islamic scrolls.
i think a regular life drawing session i have been doing seeped in there as well.
the shapes and texture suggested to me by the sculpture were the starting point – the humour and the links to other folk imagery (no matter how tenuous) provided a sort of fuel.
the paper behind the etchings is hand made and the frames themselves are painted. all twelve / fourteen of them. i think the next group along these lines will be related to graphics from alchemy. alchemy is a very valid explication of the creation of an art piece.