Time's Fool

By Alys Earl

A novel for M R James fans who sometimes want something a little more modern and edgy from their weird fiction

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Art giveaway - the absence in out landscapes

So, here is the second picture for my art giveaway at 85%, from which we are a really not very far at all.

It is A4, in pen and ink wash, and is entirely hand-drawn and original. It's a picture of a empty niche in the (very beautiful) porch of St Michael's Church, Beccles, where I sat sketching this, and got so cold I couldn't actually feel the pen in my hand.

A recurring theme in these Time's Fool landscapes is doorways, thresholds. I love that space that delineates the movement from one place to another, but I also love framing the absence at the heart of a picture. My interest is so often in the motion of passing through the doorway, rather than what lies beyond it.

But while this picture is part of a threshold, it shows a different kind of abscene - that absence which is everywhere in English ecclesiastical architecture, namely the spaces left by a demolished iconography. As I was drawing this, I reflected on the fact that the creature himself would have witnessed structures similar to this porch being built (and ornamented, and improved) and also seen them hollowed out, destroyed. To the modern eye, that emptiness is expected, familiar, but it communicates so very much of violence, transience and history.


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