Thursday, 1 December 2011

Three new prints

There sleeps Titania, wood engraving by Jonathan Mercer
For our Open Studio this Sunday, 4th December, 2011, Jonathan has made limited edition prints of three rather gothic wood engravings inspired by women in literature.

"There sleeps Titania" is a slightly voyeuristic composition evoking the dark fairy-land evoked in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream:

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses and with eglantine.
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight.

Persephone plucked the fruit from the tree, wood engraving by Jonathan Mercer
"Persephone plucked the fruit from the tree" conjures up visions of the River Styx and the division between Earth and Hades, Summer and Winter. From The Golden Fleece and the Heroes who lived before Achilles by Padraic Colum:

Beside the single tree in his domain Aidoneus stayed the chariot. A single fruit grew on that tree, a bright pomegranate fruit. Persephone stood up in the chariot and plucked the fruit from the tree. Then did Aidoneus prevail upon her to divide the fruit, and, having divided it, Persephone ate seven of the pomegranate seeds.

Shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, wood engraving by Jonathan Mercer
"Shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth" echoes the words of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, another scribble by Mr Shakespeare:

Alack, alack, is it not like that I, 
So early waking— what with loathsome smells, 
And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, 
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad—  

These new prints will be on show in the studio on Sunday when we will be offering a Christmas special 20% off all prints - for one day only! They will then be available on our website.