London, United Kingdom
11.500 x 8.250 inches
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Drawing - Fine Pen On Paper
Like the artist's other works this piece is replete with imagery and symbolism, this time revolving around the theme of redemption, or being set free. And the things which imprison are many: alcohol, church, family, internet pornography. On the right, we see a knight, fighting a well-fed dragon, which recalls Christian, the hero of John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress'. However, if we look closely we can see that his feet are chained, severely hampering his ability. All is not lost though, for over his shoulder, streaming off the Bible which stands at the centre of the piece, a torrent of words, looking like a swarm of insects, is attacking the dragon: the Bible here, is more than just a book; it is a weapon, for we see it surrounded by flame and swords. Below this battle we find more intriguing imagery. A prisoner squats within a cage. However, once again, if we look closely, the cage door is open. We can assume then that the prisoner is free but doesn't see it. Around him churches, isolated on their own islands, float in space. To the left of this scene more images invite us to decipher them: three faces portray the different facets of a man - on the left the dove, symbol of God's spirit, flies from his mouth, in the middle, his mouth is closed, silent whilst on the right, a snake, the symbol of evil. So it is with the words we speak. Beneath these, a family tree, incomplete and torn - a poignant symbol of the damage we may inherit from our mothers and fathers. On the left, a man look into a mirror and a shadow looks back: this is powerful imagery and and each one reflects a different aspect of a mankind fallen from grace. Left again and from top to bottom the space is taken up by one theme - alcoholism. At the top, drops of life are being squeezed out of a man by a bottle whilst below, a drunk lies on a solitary island which, if we look carefully reveals itself to be a nasty looking character with very large teeth. This in turn, becomes a downward spiral ending in a valley of death where numerous bodies lie, impaled. Yet all is not lost for above the deadly bottle, a powerful angel wraps a protective arm around the shoulders of an individual, carrying him or her away to a safe haven. That haven, the focus of the angel's gaze, is to be found in the open arms of the Christ, at whose feet we see a kneeling individual and from behind whom, light streams out from the wide-open door of heaven. This is a work of art soaked in powerful, spiritual symbolism that draws you in and will fascinate anyone who sees it.
November 12th, 2012
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