King of the Wood
King of the Wood
King of the Wood
King of the Wood
King of the Wood
King of the Wood
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, King of the Wood
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, King of the Wood
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, King of the Wood
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, King of the Wood
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, King of the Wood
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, King of the Wood

King of the Wood

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I took the title for this oil painting from William Cowper's unfinished poem 'The Yardley Oak'. Thus the painting references Romanticism and the English landscape. My subject is known as the Royal Oak. It has stood for at least 700 years and lives in Richmond Park, London.  
The work consists of two elements. The central circular panel, or tondo, contains a painting of the tree. The material for this section was taken from a discarded table-top I found on a neighbourhood street. It should be noted that part of this table was used to make a small work, 'This is England - A Blasted Oak, Midhurst’. Consequently the tondo has incisions that I painted across allowing shadows to accentuate these submerged forms. This section was made with broad brush strokes of colour as well as paint applied with a palette knife.
The diamond shape frame was constructed from an unfinished painting made on MDF. I used oil paint to give it the appearance of varnished oak. The frame is a representation of the Old Norse/High German rune, Ing, or Ingwaz. I used other variants of this rune in a number of contemporaneous works. The use of such runes is understood to be an invocation of a god or possibly a celebration of a king. At each corner of this diamond I incised a rune representing 'oak'. I took inspiration for using these old inscriptions from regular visits to the British Museum where I have studied ancient British artefacts.
Oil on wood and MDF
150 cm x 150 cm x 6 cm
2020