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My inspiration for “Descent of the Forest”

“Art is not what you see, but what others make you see.”

Edgar Degas

One of my first blogs was on the Metamorphosis Module. I wanted to explain what was lurking at the back of my head as inspiration for my piece.

I called it “Descent of the Forest” as my work was inspired by a piece of work by Maggi Hambling called “Descent of the Bull’s Head.” (1985) In her work she shows a bull (in a bull ring) in a series of four images from proud, strong animal through pain and agony to eventual carcass. A gush of red blood links the four images together, eventually pooling on the floor next to the bull’s unconscious head.

In my work I used gold ribbon in place of blood, to represent the value of the tree, to our planet, being lost once it is cut down.

Descent of the Bull’s Head Hambling 1985

The bull is a victim of man’s callous disregard of its right to exist, in the same way that “man” is responsible for the destruction (or descent) of the forest.

The painting by M. Hambling is one that has stayed with me since I saw it back in the 90’s. The size of the painting at 160cm x 122.5 cm is substantial enough to have a visceral effect on the viewer. For me it engaged my senses, beyond sight, to include the overpowering scent of blood and death that I associate with a butcher’s shop.


Published by stweddle

Living in Newcastle I have access to great landscape; sea, urban, country and city which I am continually inspired by. Starting my artistic qualification in my 50's allows me the benefit of long years admiring others art and a burning need to create my own.

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