At The Edge Of The Empyrean (2018)
A3 in size - Magazine / book collage.
Only available as an original piece (on mountboard, in a white mount and a black frame).
The word ‘empyrean’ is a new discovery to me. I've been reading and researching about the mythologies and beliefs held by ancient civilizations around the world and the word just leapt out at me one day. Used as both a noun and an adjective it has ancient Greek origins and comes from the medieval Latin word 'empyreus', which roughly means "in or on the fire". 'Empyrean Heaven' is a place in the highest heaven and and the word is mainly used as a name for the firmament, and in Dante's 14th-century poem, Divine Comedy as the dwelling-place of God and the source of light and creation. Reading up on this I started getting images of golden mists, alien Gods, glowing firmaments and the creation of stars and galaxies. I rifled through books on ancient civilisations and the universe and started narrowing down dozens of interesting images and cuttings. The final collage is made up of around a dozen book cuttings along with a hand and upper arm illustrated on yellow marbled card. I wanted a big striking, otherworldly image, something alien and magical, and another inspiration for the piece came in the form of American comic book artist Jack Kirby and in particular his art for the Galactus and Silver Surfer storylines and comics. In the mid to late 60's Kirby's comics drew heavily on themes of ancient mythology and I loved how he dived head first into huge metaphysical ideas and philosophies. 'At The Edge Of The Empyrean' also sits nicely as a kind of sister piece to my earlier 'Ye Gods' collage.