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For Now I Am Winter (The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe) Large by Mark Davies
Limited Edition Print Of 10
Medium: Giclee On Paper
Framed Size: 35" x 47"
I could quite easily have created a scene set in a snowy forest clearing be it beautiful or dark but I wanted to tackle this piece from a completely different angle. I have set this as a ‘Storyteller’ style piece, one that embraces the depth and intensity that comes from producing a multi-layered narrative that drive the visual and open the viewers’ imagination to decide what has happened, what is happening and what could ultimately happen.
‘For Now I’m Winter’ is the title track of Olafar Arnalds album which together with the vocals of Arnor Dan has become a significant part of my work, featuring in pieces such as “Where Demons Roam’ for example. For me personally the phrase ‘For Now I’m Winter’ represents the acceptance by someone that things are not lost and that there is still the chance to recover from their current state no matter how far gone they are or think they are. So you might be experiencing the bleakest, darkest Winters but you accept that with Winter always comes Spring and with it the shoots of new growth that will if nurtured continue to grow.
The question for the person studying this piece is do they see Winter or do they see Spring, are things too far gone or are they in recovery? The primary narrative for this Narnia piece embraces the key objects and characters of the story and if you look, it still does actually show a forest clearing and snow through the deforestation caused by the battles that raged shown here as fire and also the snow drops that have forced their way through the charred earth.
The wardrobe and light, both key objects from the story each have a place within the composition whilst there are more subtle references such as the rotten apple that is a link to the apple tree that was used to make the wardrobe initially. These details create the scene and help to identify this darkened piece with Narnia whilst the focal point of the piece and ultimately the concept is Aslan, laying slain and restricted by stone, frozen in time. On first study it is a terribly sad scene, the body position and facial expression of the wounded lion that once ruled the land. Yet when you notice the snowdrops that surround him you will start to realise that maybe all is not lost and that wounds if treated can recover.
This brings me onto the deeper narrative that runs throughout the piece, one that most may not identify as being there but its’ there and makes this piece so much more poignant, powerful and ultimately positive. So much of my work is built around hope, shining a light into the darkest of shadows and this is showcased within ‘For Now I’m Winter’. Depending on experience past or present many will be able to identify with this concept either as the first or third person. Aslan is the person hypothetically wounded and in trouble, surrounded by the effects of the fires that burned around them but ultimately lying on ground where the flames have gone out, where new growth is starting to surround them.
The solitary dove feather that rests on the body represents the lasting impact of a loved ones’ care for the person in trouble, in Winter. The wardrobe is the open door, the escape out of this world, this is an incredibly powerful part. It could the permanent route back when Spring comes, it could be a temporary escape mechanism or it could be much worse when all other doors close. The galloping Fawn who is running away from the fire symbolises those who choose to run rather than help the person in need, something that is sadly all too common. Finally the light represents a pillar of hope and is what we are all drawn to, the light that shines brightest when surrounded by darkness. For now I am Winter, lungs renew…