Alexandria

Most of us know the history of the Egyptian port of Alexandria, it was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and became the centre for knowledge, wealth and shipping for miles around.

I hope the viewer gets the same sense of mystery and wonder that I felt whilst making the work. I would like for people to stand and wonder,’ what might have been?’

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

The ancient mysteries and mythology seem to be too important for us to leave the sole responsibility of its storytelling to the Historians alone. I am interested in exploring the subjects and presenting my thinking to my audience, in the hope that it will stimulate wonder and intellectual debate in the wider community.

Hydra

A Greek Mythological creature who was said to have been slain by Hercules. This monstrous creature is often depicted as being dragon-like in body shape and tail, but with many tentacles, each supporting a head. It was said that if you were to chop one off, another would grow in its place.

Hydra is also a serpent-like constellation, in fact, it is the largest of the constellations in our sky’s. Hydra translates to ‘the water snake’.

I only have one phobia, snakes! However, I find myself completely mesmerised when I see one at a distance, or on the TV: they are amazing creatures and I seem to have adopted them as part of my language, a strange contradiction I admit. Some say they are responsible for the ‘ills’ of our world, but what do we really know?

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

Kraken

A legendary, mythological, sea monster, said to frequent the northern seas. This gigantic sea dweller is responsible for many a tale. Devouring sea men and destroying ships, ambushing boats from its murky lair, leaving huge whirlpools where ships once sat.

Jules Verne’s - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Herman Melville’s – Moby Dick.

I have always gravitated to these kind of books, they have certainly left me with a love for the mystery and exploration of the ocean, but also a healthy fear of the deep and the creatures that might live there.

I hope the viewer gets the same sense of mystery and wonder that I felt whilst making the work. I would like for people to stand and wonder,’ what might be down there?’

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

The ancient mysteries and mythology seem to be too important for us to leave the sole responsibility of its storytelling to the Historians alone. I am interested in exploring the subjects and presenting my thinking to my audience, in the hope that it will stimulate wonder and intellectual debate in the wider community.

Magi

Magi came about from the title; my wife Natalie is good with languages, new and old. On the odd occasion Nat will fire off some potential work titles at me and some stick. Magi being a source of magic, in a way, was one of these. I did a bit of reading and made the work.  I have appropriated my reading below:

Three wise men visited Jesus after his birth: The Christian Bible describes them as, ‘the three wise men who followed a star’.

A group of ancient Persian priests were said to have supernatural powers.

Magi is the Greek translation from the Latin, Magus, associated with sorcery, astrology and magic.

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

The ancient mysteries and mythology seem to be too important for us to leave the sole responsibility of its storytelling to the Historians alone. I am interested in exploring the subjects and presenting my thinking to my audience, in the hope that it will stimulate wonder and intellectual debate in the wider community.

Metropolis

A large city in any country, anywhere, that was my brief for this piece. I wanted to pay homage to the great ‘Metropolis’, but also to raise the question, ‘are we the only ones? Is it not possible for there to be a bigger, better Metropolis elsewhere?

My Metropolis is not a foreboding place but potentially an inviting one, sometimes I wish I could visit, I imagine the people would be approachable.

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

Orbital

Every City has one. London has the M25 circular, that winds its way slowly, (most of the time) around the great capital. Sydney has it’s Orbital Network, Russia has it’s Mosco Ring Road and Egypt has it’s Cairo Ring Road, there are many more examples.

Each one is reliant on the other for our entire system to work, whilst, at the same time, the Moon orbits us, we orbit the Sun, the Sun orbits the centre of the Milky Way and the Milky Way goes around the centre of the Virgo Supercluster.

Historically, orbital road structures, whether made by foot, trucks or diggers, have provided us with one of the means for our continual development and expansion across the globe as a species. This is my homage to one of the greatest results of human ingenuity.

My questions are, why are we always chasing our tails? Why do we not understand that we are sharing this experience together, wherever it takes us? And why, unrelated, are Orbital, (the electronic dance music group, local to the M25 in London) so damn good? I have loved Dance music all my life and Orbital are right up there in my top ten. Digital music has no barriers and we associate it with people having a good time, which is what my art hopes to achieve too!

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

Temple

An ancient figure looks on as a huge structure is built before its eyes; we cannot see how this is achieved, but the figure seems to know. Perhaps they are watching their own plans emerge before them?

We have an astonishing amount of Archaeological evidence to support the presence of advanced, ancient, civilisations in our distant past. These Civilisations built huge monuments, temples and sprawling metropolises.

There are also a number of theories as to how these people were able (given the historical time line and lack of availability of any advanced tooling, according to mainstream archaeology) to achieve such great feats?

New sites are being discovered at an unbelievable rate, mainly due to our accelerating technological advances. I hope, within my lifetime, we might get some of the questions answered?

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

Machination

The insect-like creature hovers over the doorway. His long antenna like arms are orchestrating the furore below, yet still the world turns.

‘Machination’ of old French origin from ‘machinacion’, meaning, Schemes, tricks, conspiracy, intrigues.

Machination is a playful look at the manoeuvres of our (hidden in plain sight) ruling class, in a place that exists somewhere between them, but not with us.

The medium is graphite on Bristol board (Paper). I love the way graphite becomes dust: It allows me to explore geometry and symbolism, against a landscape of shadows. I love this contradiction.

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© 2019 Shawn Randall. All images and rights reserved.