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New Media: Ink, Charcoal, Photogram, Paper, Environmental on Other.
Gilgamesh Returns: The Once and Future Forest
A mist descends on the dying day;
He spurs his steed ever onward;
Down, down through the deepening dusk
And into the thicket they thunder.
The forest floor opens before them,
Together, they come flying.
His burnished beauty wears purple and gold,
The colours of Royal King Arthur.
This stallion is prized throughout all the land,
In far-away France he is famous.
He is known to have magical powers;
Hooves winged, uninhibited, free.
He is blessed and beloved by angels.
He is Goodness, Mercy and Peace.
He and his rider press into the dark,
Their pathway agleam by the fiery flash
From the stallion’s sapphire eyes.
They climb in tandem with the rising moon
Until they reach the rill at the summit.
Here they halt at the heart of the forest
It is the moment they were born to live.
They have a part to play in the planet’s rebirth;
It’s a mission from millennia ago.
This forest was once the natural home
Of the mightiest cedars on earth.
These giants bestowed peace
And love on the land;
But they were coveted and conquered
By the strength in arms
Pumped from ignorant hearts.
The tyrannical King Gilgamesh of Uruk,
That powerful oppressor of spirits,
Set forth with his wildman, foe-turned friend
To slay the Guardian of the Forest, Humbaba.
The blows of their axes
Rang right round the world
As they sacked the sacred cedars.
Now, the time is come
For restoration and regeneration.
The valourous knight and his noble steed
Turn their gaze to the roof of the world.
The full moon at perigee grows larger
And brighter than ever before seen.
The knight draws forth from its scabbard
The ancient sword of good deeds.
He points its tip to the radiant light.
The bejewelled beams
From his horse’s eyes join the trajectory.
The world is ablaze in pyrotechnic display
As the moon shoots colours to the earth.
The horse and his rider look down to see
A pentagon aglow on the ground.
Rumbling grows up through the ages
Of layers and layers laid down.
An iron fist ruptures the soil;
Gilgamesh releases his plunder.
Ambers more stunning than stained-glass windows
Shower the planet for hours.
They are ferried to forests
The whole globe-wide;
Theirs is a powerful purpose.
Locked inside their beautiful forms
Are the seeds of once and future cedars.
The seasons rush through the centuries;
The cedars are mighty again.
The horse and his rider stand sentry;
They dwell with the Gardeners of Earth.
If you wait and you watch you may see them,
Outlined against sky, above sea,
Forever guarding and guiding;
They want us to be free.
And all are at peace on this planet;
All creatures are safe in the trees.
Gone, dark days of predation;
The lion lies down with the lamb.
Pearl Forster, Copyright 2019
Recently, I was fortunate enough to complete the HarvardX course, Ancient Masterpieces of World Literature where I was introduced to The Epic of Gilgamesh. One of the many things this ancient epic highlighted for me was that the exploitation and disregard for our environment is not just a recent phenomenon. However, this artwork also considers our new and collective determination to find solutions.
This work is a synthesis of the early calotype process, inks, charcoal, plastics, saps, wood chips, and botanicals.
It is a Giclee print on archival fine art paper and comes with a signed certificate of authentification.