Monday 11 July 2016

Old St. Stephens Church - Robin Hoods Bay

On the descent to Robin Hoods Bay I spied a mysterious and intriguing church. Nestled in between the rolling hills and numerous trees was a petite Georgian church. Desperate to take a closer look we stopped off on the return journey, tempted by its understated simplicity and strange allure we parked up the Morris to take a closer look and see just what Old St. Stephen's Church has to offer.

I was immediately surprised by the residents of the church. A small flock of sheep, whose job I imagine it was to trim the verges and keep the graveyard shipshape, but judging by the length of the grass they had more particular tastes than just any old grass. The overgrown churchyard was charming and full to the brim with many beautiful old gravestones and caskets. The stories behind the stones echo the tragedy of their time, with infant mortality, shipwrecks and those lost never to return.

The history of the church is very rich. With a church having stood on the site for over a thousand years, generations of local families lay buried within its boundaries. The current building was erected in 1822 and has remained unchanged ever since, with the box pews inside having their last paint job 100 years ago. The interior of the current church is very modest, which reflects the working class people the church served and the sensibilities of many churches of the time, that excessive aesthetics detracted from God.

The quaint little church was unlike any I have ever visited before. It's tiny box pews and tiered wooden interior made me feel usually large (and that is unusual for me) and clumsy (that's not quite so unusual). The church was a unique snapshot into the everyday Georgian church serving its community. The church has seen so much tragedy and sorrow, largely mariner related, and there, from the graveyard, the beautiful view of the sea and the headland must have served as a chilling reminder to parishioners of the grave dangers of the sea. 

Friday 27 May 2016

Fate and Fortune ...

A recent series which I have been working on is a slight departure from a lot of the themes of my recent work. Stepping away from animals (briefly), I have created this series inspired by vintage sideshow imagery and various different methods of fortune telling and prediction. I have attempted to combine my own style, the typography of the circus and sideshow attractions and traditional Gypsy practices and fortune telling to create a series of posters promoting the power of prediction.

Upon completion of the series I decided to have them printed as cards, pocket sized propaganda to reveal your occult obsession. Check out the cards on sale now at my Etsy store:

Friday 20 May 2016

The Unholy Trinity

My latest artwork series 'The Unholy Trinity' is finally complete. The series has been a long running project over a number of months based around photographs I took of a rescued Great Grey Owl, courtesy of Kilton Raptor Rescue.

Spending tome with the captivatingly beautiful Great Grey Owl formed the basis for a series of characters I developed based around the different perspectives and 'faces' of the owl. Each character in the series has its own unique personality and a different part to play in the great story that is life. All of the characters within 'The Unholy Trinity' carry different supernatural powers and play their own role in the balance of the universre, be it the power of prophecy and predection, the third eye and the gift of the second sight or the blessing off boundless wisdom. The true message of 'The Unholy Trinity' is; Follow your future, live your dreams, play the part, you were born to be. 

'The Unholy Trinity' are now available to purchase as cards from my Etsy store at:

Friday 8 April 2016

The Wise One

As part of my current series based on Great Grey Owls I have recently been working on this piece 'The Wise One'. I designed 'The Wise One' to reflect serenity, complete calm and boundless wisdom. The Wise One is the final owl of  'The Unholy Trinity' series, which has seen me study a beautiful Great Grey Owl in immense detail for a number of months. Documenting this owl in such detail, and representing it from different perspectives has been an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. The layering work on this series has been some serious work, but hopefully the finished pieces prove patience is a virtue worth having!

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Hommage an HR Giger - Fabrik der Künste - Hamburg

Early in 2016 I heard that there was going to be a HR Giger exhibition held in Hamburg at the Fabrik der Künste (which hosted a previous Giger exhibition in 2012). I began doing some research and looking for details, but the exhibition hadn't even been officially announced yet, so I held fire, not wanting to get excited over the first exhibition since Gigers death if it wasn't actually taking place. After a couple of days, the official news appeared, and I permitted myself to get excited and hopeful of attending. Due a weekend away, me and my partner decided it was the perfect excuse for another Giger Pilgrimage and booked flights to Hamburg.

Having been to Germany a number of times, but never to Hamburg, I had no idea what to expect from the city itself. Apart from, I suspected; cold. Having been to Berlin in winter before and having to wear 2 coats and still being chilled to the bone, I packed accordingly for a North Eastern German winter. As we made our descent towards Hamburg, one glimpse of the snow covered fields and I knew Id made the right decision.

As usual I had planned the trip with military precision, with maps, museums and opening times in abundance. Unfortunately a few of those got left behind in England, so there was some confusion over the opening times of the Exhibition. After arriving 3 hours early, and cursing myself profusely,  we returned after a few beers and a late breakfast and all was resolved.

The Fabrik der Künste was quiet and peaceful, with only a few other people visiting the Exhibition during our time there, giving me the chance to study and absorb all of the pieces on display in silent reflection. I'd made it to the second floor before discovering that photography was permitted within the Exhibition (I'm so used to visiting museums where photography's not allowed I hadn't even asked). So I seized the chance to capture the pieces on display and preserve my memory if the exhibition.

The exhibition had a good variety of Giger's work on display, from early sketches and paintings, to pieces increasing in size and complexity, pieces from key series such as Passagen and New York City, as well as sculptures, furniture and prints. The exhibition is a must see for any Giger fanatic, but is also accessible to those with limited knowledge of his work, with timelines outlining his career and screenings of 'Dark Star' providing visitors with a glimpse into Giger's world.

There were many pieces on display from private collections which I've never seen before in the flesh, and may never do so again. Studying their detail and layering was an incredible, moving experience. I already knew from my visit to Château St. Germain that no books or prints can prepare you for the reality of the layers, light and dark, shading and details within Giger's work. It was wonderful to once again have the opportunity to study my heroes work up close and appreciate its beauty and unique honesty.

As well as having the chance to see private pieces such as 'National Park' and 'The Magus', I also felt very fortunate to finally see some of Giger's large sculpture work, such as the San Gottardo Biomechanoids. I have long dreamed of seeing the Zodiac fountain at Giger's home in Zurich, but I'm doubtful I'll ever get the chance, so it was great to see some of the sculptures which are part of the fountain up close.

The pilgrimage was another incredibly rewarding trip to see the work of my hero and appreciate his genius. The exhibition was well curated, cohesive and so enjoyable we visited twice. I reveled in the chance to buy some books for my collection. I would have loved to have taken home the large 'Female Torso' in polished Aluminum, but alas my lottery numbers are as illusive as ever.

Giger, Forever.