Ford Madox Browns 1851-6 unfinished painting ‘Take your son sir!’, has floated around in my mind for years. I find it unbearably creepy and sad but also fascinating, It depicts his wife Emma holding their son Arthur, its thought to be a commentary on Victorian morality, (a mistress demanding the man take responsibility his offspring), it has such a peculiar composition, illusions to imagery of the Virgin and Child, also a nod to The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait. The desperate face of the woman almost drowned in her corpse like paleness and the weird dead eyed baby with its shiny fish belly skin, hanging in what could be both womb and winding sheet.
Madox Brown eventually abandoned the painting, probably, sadly, due to his sons death, so we only have this unfinished image, with its areas of bleak bare canvas butting up against richly worked skin tones, the intricate mirror and glided wallpapers.
I grew up in Birmingham and the Pre-Raphaelites are never very far away, but seeing this bleak unfinished work at the Tate London was quite the contrast to the lushly gorgeous canvases I was used to. I can’t consider it a favorite of mine, but something about it hangs around long after you have see it, perhaps its the very unfinished nature that fascinates.
I know its a pretty silly image I’ve made in response, where Otto comes out the best, (psst he’s not that big IRL) and I’m not sure of the relevance of Judge Dredd, but see it as a sketch, a seed of something else, maybe something I will never finish either.
Post Masters I’m currently reviewing and editing my portfolio, both the physical one and here online, Its a bit dry so for fun I thought for the next week or so or I’d post one of my older works, with a little explanation. or not as I see fit.
This is Loki’s Children, It features Hel, Ferir and Jörmungandr three of the Norse God Loki’s children.
They were punished and imprisoned (in one way or another) by Odin for what it was foretold they would do; not what they had done, just what they might do. I felt so sorry for the three of them ‘born bad’ as it were.
I thought of them clinging to one-another as they wait for Odins judgement.
Well it’s been a while since my last post, a serious health issue and family problems have put rather a hold on my work over the last year or so. I’m still struggling with the fallout from both of these, but the good news is I’m finding more energy (and time) to concentrate on my practice every day.
So here we are in a new year with a new major piece in the offing. As some of you may know I’m currently studying for a post grad in Fashion Design, this is my final piece I’m developing for it. It’s a concept piece based around the folk tale ‘The Buried Moon’ here’s a link if you fancy a read of the full text:http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/meft/meft24.htm
A brief synopsis would be as follows:
‘A curious Moon who, interested in how the people of the fens are using her light to safely find their way through the moss at night, comes down to earth only to be trapped by forces of evil and buried in a deep pool in the fen. As her light is gone from the Earth, the forces of darkness have free rein to torment the fen folk and prevent their night time travel. Frustrated by their predicament, the fen folk make a deal with a wise woman and embark on a mission to free the Moon and ultimately return to their safe night-time preambles.’
Its planned as a multimedia (that sounds so clunky!) installation incorporating; garments, 2d work and a sound piece. There will be quite a range of developmental work on here over the next few weeks.
I’ll start you off with a simple concept sketch of the Moon and her Dog. (I know there’s no dog in the story but I think she needs a bit of company on her night time patrol, and the traditional Tarot depiction of the moon usually always has a dog.)