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Photography: Black & White, C-type, Dye Transfer on Aluminium.
George & Dragon, London No. 1
Signed Edition of 16
The legend of Saint George and the dragon is one of the oldest mythical, romantic stories and originates in 10th century Libya. St. George fights and kills a dragon to save a Princess. First he struck the monster with his spear but the dragon's scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. He fell from his horse but rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Recovering his strength he smote the beast with his sword, but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and back on horseback with sword in hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales... it fell dead at his feet.
This simply became the most epic of stories for hundreds of years. and consequently there are numerous renditions across the world in words, art and sculpture. Saint George was the ultimate hero and the popular favourite among Saints across many cultures and continents.
I’ve been captivated not only by the story itself and the portrayals but also by the profound realisation of what it must have meant to ordinary people so long ago. Today we turn the greatest stories into paperbacks and feature films but still they may not last a century whereas this simple but powerful story of bravery and chivalry has lasted hundreds of years and during that time would have been known to everyone. A story that anyone could retell and yet over the last 100 years or so it’s been forgotten as we have become immersed in storytelling through imagery, print and film.
I hope this story can continue in my work, as I combine an intended ambiguity along with clear references of the legend.
Through photomontage technique I have endeavoured to bring the subjects a new life and a new perspective for the viewer.
This statue can be found on Lords roundabout in St. Johns Wood, North London and is by the sculptor C. L. Hartwell. The statue sits above a WW1 memorial. The unveiling would have been a major event.
The immortality of statues reflects our human aspiration. Today, although society have become oblivious to such statues they still retain a gravitas and eternal value. They may be taken for granted in our fast urban environments yet one would surely notice if they were removed. Could we ever dispose of them?.. I think not. They are destined to become ever more valuable, yet around the world they stand ignored and exposed to the elements.
My artworks are about rediscovery, finding and exploring a new 21st century perspective. Taking something so essentially three dimensional and reinterpreting it in two dimensions required me to bring more than a single dimension to an image.
There is no true symmetry in my work. As in the human face, perfect symmetry holds no beauty, and so I twist and balance my imagery in photomontage to create a harmony whilst retaining the compelling nature of a symmetrical first impression.
I have embedded further depth into the final piece intending that they should be viewed from a distance, mid range or close up with entirely different effect.
The satisfaction I felt when first creating the photomontages in this series reminded me of my childhood and treasured kaleidoscope. The toy kaleidoscope is a marvel as it enables a new and compelling perspective on something possibly familiar or ordinary. The first thing we do after looking at something through a kaleidoscope is to look again at the subject without the kaleidoscope, as if to rediscover the subject, and see it anew. This simple pyschology is essential to my work… I endeavour to create images that demand more than a glance.
Artworks are available as archival reverse prints onto aluminium of exceptional quality.
I chose this medium for its metallic, polished and reflective nature, these are not simply printed photographs but instead an extension of the bronze statue itself, another immortal object.