Thursday, November 7, 2013

'Vanitas' Revisited

Antione Steenwinkel. 17th cen. Vanitas portrait of the painter   
Museum of Fine Art.  Antwerp 

I bought a copper plate and steel burin a few weeks ago with a view to making a dry point engraving  to print up in the printmaking studio at Uclan in November when I head back to make research and studio presentations. As an extension to the drawing based on flowers and bones made on a paper a month or so go I decided to work from direct observation of an old skull,  a classic 'memento mori' still-life object,  especially favourite of artist's painting vanitas portraits in the 17th century and a timeless and universal subject of meditation in Buddhist, Classical Greco-Roman philosophical and Christian traditions of reflection. More recently contemporary artists like Ricky Swallow, who represented Australia  at the Venice Biennale in 2005, have explored this subject and the tradition of crafted realism in woodcarving.

8 X 8 X 8 INCHES Ricky Swallow

Also made two more small studies of photographs as three dimensional objects, tied up in a bundle and in a torn fragment painted on top of hand written notes in the sketchbooks - real and illusory paper........

Acrylic on paper, 24x24cm 

Acrylic on paper, 24x24cm 

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