Mortuus Merula 'Salvation'
2016. h:82cms x w:65cms (framed).
When I found the dead blackbird it looked perfect - it had only the tiniest drop of blood on its beak. Once I had drawn it on the white paper I was strongly reminded of the colour combination of red, black and white in fairy tales: so I referenced this in the beauty of the bird's black feathers, the statue's black dress and the red of drops of blood contrasting with the purity of the white paper. The blackbird lies at the bottom of the drawing and nearby stands an antique statue of the Virgin of the Seven Sorrows with an exquisite but disintegrating black silk dress. I echoed the blackbird's black feathers with the textures of her of dress. She watches over the dead bird and holds her votive bag in which a devil’s head (a terrifyingly strange wind-up toy from my childhood) is either contained or escaping. Both butterflies were painted from antique specimens and reference 17th century Dutch still life symbolism where the bright fire-red colour and velvet black of the red admiral butterfly was thought to come from its wings touching the fires of Hell. At the top of the drawing the white orange tip butterfly is a symbol of purity and hope of resurrection with the orange flowing from the butterfly in a continuous circle or halo.
Artwork Group Image: