The Forlorn Hope
The Forlorn Hope
Mixed media on canvas
H91 x W91 x D4cm
This is a very worked over drawing and painting with many layers and patterning creating a palimpsest of imagery and meanings. Intended to infer a medieval inspired warning or reminder, a gargoyle, a Medusa, a fallen angel? What does it say to you? Positive or negative meanings?
I have applied Nepalese rag paper ( for it's fibre quality and resilience as well as surface texture) on the canvas surface to give a weathered look to the main shape of the butterfly wings and then then drawn and painted into it with layers of metallic, iridescent and acrylic inks and paints. The surface of this work glitters and gleams with copper, silver and gold, reflecting differently in change of lighting.
The skull, a Memento Mori is contained within the butterfly basically representing the feelings contained in the Forlorn Hope phrase and the myth surrounding Pandora and that elusive butterfly.
I have taken my own meanings from the phrase and myth and use them to open a dialogue about ideas about desperation, betting against the odds and sacrifice. I intertwine the Greek myth of Pandora's butterfly of 'Hope' flying free (?) after all the ills of the world have been set free upon the world from her the opening of the casket or urn.
The phrase Forlorn Hope and the Pandora myth are rich in metaphor and archetypes and I try to represent this depth in the icon type appearance of the work using metallic and bright flashes of colour along with the hammered metal effect, the ancient resonance, the flat representational manner of the work. By making this work on canvas I give it a place to settle, to hold it's place, to be always unfurled to own a space and to lend it a feeling of depth and gravitas, a drawing of substance.