Fra Angelico

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Some time ago I was leafing through a Dutch book about Fra Angelico, printed in Antwerp 1941. (The book has a paper sticker with Boekhandel Krooneman, Jansstrasse, Arnhem. It has had quite a journey in the 70 years since it was printed and is now in a small village in Sweden.) I started noticing the fabulous fabrics hanging behind Maria and child in many of Fra Angelico’s paintings. So the pattern on the yellow background is copied from a painting (1437-1440) that is now in the St. Marcus museum.

The luxurious brocade fabrics were of course only for the wealthy and powerful in the upper echelons of society so it is appropriate that Maria with child are sitting in front of a shimmering wall of silk. I used a ‘frame’ to place plants and a planet in a similar position of importance.

Fra Angelico is a monoprint with block printing colour, watercolour and colour pencils.

Pods

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Pods 50.8 x 40 cm

So this is a landscape/animal/seed combo – not only can images be manipulated. Boundaries are being challenged – it is easy to fall into an apocalyptic mood. I have been inspired by Patricia Piccinini’s creations although I started my Fur drawings before seeing her work.

Red Landscape

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Red Lanscape 74.5 x 97 cm

Despite their appearance I have some sort of landscape, or landscape/animal combo, in mind when I create my Fur drawings. A bit contradictory then, I admit, to call them Furs but that is what most viewers describe them as. They are in my mind ‘maps’ showing elevations, streams and other landscape features – obviously not urban environments – but what you might possibly find if you’re out for a stroll in an imaginary forest. The red colour is a sign of warning – what will happen if we continue behaving as an invasive species ….

Dance III

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Dance II 69×49 cm

More trees! Shaking, waving and being together in a fragile sort of way. What will happen to them – no defences against us. If you have read Tolkien – you might remember when the trees are marching in aid of ‘the good’ – an unstoppable force. I can almost feel the earth shaking under their heavy footsteps.

Blue roots

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Blue roots 96×72 cm

Came across this watercolour/drawing when looking through works that I have at home in Sweden. Although it is part of a large group of ‘fur’-like drawings I like it because its landscape qualities, combined with hints of human/animal bodies, sets it apart from other works. The pools of ‘water’, I think, are quite delicate and seeps into the fur which is undulating, maybe following an underlying mountain range.