After much messing about with the wrong imagery and trying to force together my imagery, it was a last minute, spontaneous decision that suddenly made the difference and gave me confidence to make my final selection.
As typical with my practice, my ideas changed over the time – the original series of sequential images/comic becoming just a duo – but I am really happy with the results. There is a really nice beauty and transience to the pair and together I consider them delivering my intended narrative quite nicely. The elements of the glowing slice (tapping panel) and figure interact across the set and the glowy textured aesthetic to the surroundings really help build the otherworldly and divine effect.
Supporting words for Batsford Prize entry:
‘Increasingly inspired by the ‘Earth’s Mysteries’ within human culture and religion, I have explored the spiritual connection we have to our environment.
Stimulated by the narrative within a collection of found photographs from the 50s, these images depict my fictional re-interpretation. An accompanying letter to the photographs describes a rubber tapping plantation in the remote jungles of Malaysia in which the extraction of the white sap from the trees is often done by moonlight.
“The light they obtain is as bright as day…”
I envisioned this quote describing a ritualistic scene whereby the tappers seek the quiet darkness of the night to obtain light from the trees; the white rubber is instead replaced with a sacred glowing energy.
The human elements featured are blessed by the ethereal light, reveling in the experience.
My choice of the medium of Quink and pencil drawing was to allow both a fluid transience to the work and application of detail. I wanted to show a beauty to the scene but also give an unusual aesthetic to the mysterious trees, described as resembling “washed-out silver birches; weird, naked and obscene…”
My series of images subtlely allude to my narrative and a relationship to the natural world that draws upon something metaphysical and divine. I want to encourage this feeling of being sanctified through absorption into nature, into the roots of our being.’