For my next image in the ‘Shouting at The World’ series, I have combined two of the gargoyles/grotesques I found on the churches in Lincolnshire, with a Sheela-na-gig found on The Church of St Mary and St David, in Kilpeck, Herefordshire. Having spent quite a lot of time working with various images of the Green Man, I felt it was time to redress the balance somewhat and feature this ancient, scared female form which can be found, in various forms, throughout the world.
Having taken the photographs of the various Lincolnshire Grotesques, I chose three that I felt were most appropriate to the theme of ‘Shouting at The World’ and drew them as a group. The feature that struck me most when I first saw them in situ, was how often the figures are depicted holding their mouths wide open. I exaggerated this by having one of them holding open another’s mouth. The lino prints were a three-colour image, the second layer being drawn into so as to allow the first layer to show through with some degree of texture. The final, detailed layer was intentionally fairly rough-cut, in keeping with the old, often crumbling nature of the figures.
Having tied up the ‘loose ends’ of my Green Man project (though it still lurks!) it seems a natural progression to move onto using other ancient forms as inspiration for my next work. Though we’ll never really know what was in the minds of the people who carved the gargoyles and grotesques found on many old churches (though there are many theories put out there), on a recent visit to the churches of St. Wulfrum’s in Grantham, and St Cuthbert’s in Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire, I was struck by just how many of the characters seemed to be shouting. What at? Why? It doesn’t matter, shouting at the world is ever-present. #SATW