drawings, Landscape

Behind the Artwork: ‘A Gathering of Ancients’

It’s that time again, to explore the story/meaning behind the artwork. A noble feat, but not an exact science – certainly not when it comes to my own work. This drawing has many titles – at the moment I’ve titled it ‘A Gathering of Ancients’, however, when I first completed it I named it ‘Energy before Me’ – but you know, if things were static wouldn’t that be boring?

Unlike most of my work there is no figurative element to this piece. For once though, I don’t feel like it is missing anything. 

Is it a real place or fantasy?

It was inspired by Castlerigg Stone Circle, located in the Lake District – it dates back to 3000BC. It is an amazingly atmospheric place with such a unique energy, and that is what I wanted to explore. 

Why are you moving towards landscape as your subject matter?

All land has an energy and England is brimming with it – as an island with such a vast history there are so many stories to tell and that is what has attracted me to working more with landscape as a subject matter. 

I don’t want to perfectly recreate the look of the landscape I want to try and depict the unique energy and the sense of awe you get from visiting certain places. What is beautiful about human beings (well some of them) is how romantic we are! Different places can mean different things to different people purely because of experience (how many times can one say the word ‘different’ in a sentence?).

My perception of beauty of a place can be completely unique to somebody else’s. In saying that, as a social species, we tend to fall in love with similar things – the sunset, waterfalls, sunrise, mountains – but we also seek solitary destinations where we can sit, think and reflect. Silent stillness is something we all crave from time to time. We’re a complicated lot.

We all seek a certain sort of ecstasy – some of us knowingly, some of us subconsciously. Why some of us are drawn to the sea and others feel more at home in the woods or on top of a mountain is really interesting to me – it’s some kind of primal reaction to environment that is encoded within us. Each element provides a different mood, I think we’re more malleable and less powerful than we care to believe. 

When experiencing a new place, especially like Castlerigg, I like to think of those that have been there before me, what secrets and stories the land could tell. In this series I really want to reveal the secrets of the land – maybe I’ll just reveal my own secrets and feelings – we shall see…

Until next time. Merry Christmas!

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