Friday, 15 March 2013

From the Mourning of the World


The final record cover artwork  - this image will wrap the gatefold sleeve front and back 
~ please click for a larger view
THE WOMAN OF THE EARTH's back bends under the dark weight of tarmac and concrete, industrial civilisation catches in its global communications net the last wild creatures, and poisoned skies choke the leaves from the last trees withstanding. 
A wind blows through those last branches and through the antlers of a fleeing deer, through the hair of the Woman of the Earth, and scatters old memories of things that once lived: twigs and bird bones, seed pods and bees wings, dead leaves and fish skeletons and thistledown. 
The Woman of the Earth weeps. Her sorrow for The Dying is heavier than we can know. Into her garment are stitched the ghosts of extinct species. 
But from her tears grows music: music to wail and sing out and bow and strum and beat out the thrum of our griefs. And from the music grow green leaves, spiralling their new life from the alchemy of tears.


And so goes the tale of my latest painting. This is to be a record cover, commissioned by the folks at The Dark Mountain Project (whom I have painted for before) - a global network of writers, artists and thinkers who aim to challenge the stories our civilisation tells about itself, and produce honest art and novel thinking for a culture in trouble and a world heading for the buffers.
They are bringing out a compilation record of music born of this thinking, and encasing it in a beautiful limited edition vinyl LP, with a gatefold sleeve adorned with my artwork. 

My initial sketch for the record cover design

The title From the Mourning of the World was given to me by Marmaduke Dando - the record's curator, and then I was left pretty much to my own devices to respond to the idea in my own way.


You mightn't be surprised that I was inspired by the melancholy in the title and theme. Even my watercolour was weeping.


Slowly the painting evolved. It was large - I painted at record cover actual size.


As the ghosts of lost creatures whispered blue and green through the paint to me, I even started to see spirits in the paint palette, waiting wordlessly for me to tell their tale.


The image grew, in soft watery colours against the inky black of the oppressive city.


Lastly, once all the colour was there, I carved out the edges in pencil, put in the veins of insect wings, and the furrows on the brow, marked out the fingernails and bird bones, the lettering and fiddle strings, antlers and tresses and long falling tears.


And then it was done.


The record will be made once enough funds have been raised. There'll be a limited edition of just 500 of these unique and beautiful vinyl creations, so hurry along here to the fundraising page and pre-order yourself a copy! I'm particularly excited about the tracks from Jon Boden and Chris Wood and Julian Gaskell's Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, but listening to the tempting snippets on this little introductory video promises a veritable feast for wondering ears and uncivilised souls.



27 comments:

annelien said...

beautiful again. thanks for sharing your steps, your thoughts, your tales, your brush-strokes for people like me to walk just a few paces with you...

Steve Byrne said...

Exciting stuff. Have put some towards the fund and can't wait to see the finished album. As always Rima, it is a beautiful piece of work.

Janine said...

This is so beautiful and poignant.and yet an inspiration to see the leaves growing from the woman's tears.

Heather said...

A wonderful piece of work. I wish the project well and hope it will be a great success.

Trish said...

You are wonderful.... what wonders you create.

Janine said...

So beautiful and wonderfully expressed!

Ms. said...

What a treat to see the process evolve with such feeling and skill. You are a wonder, yes you ARE! Every one I sent one of your delicious cards to this Winter, adored them and commented to me so.

I have no debit or credit cards, nor Pay-pal ability, but I'll go to the site and see if there's a way to purchase by snail mailed check, as you did for that card pack purchase.

May you be well, and may Spring bring you joy when it finally fully emerges.

heather said...

oh, the artwork. and oh, the music

Ms. said...

Rima--a thought--Are you able to share this post at Face book? I don't see a badge, so, just asking. I did go to the site--wonderful project...but, sad to say I have no way of playing an LP. Still, I'm trying to figure out how to share the project on my blog (but scant readers) and on Face book--because it's such a righteous project.

Charlotte said...

It is fantastic. I love that they are using vinyl. the sound is warmer and fuller. I agree with Ms, you need to fund raise and use the media out there. Although if each of us FB
this then promotes the fundraising it might make a difference.

Ronnie (RR) said...

I love reading the stories behind your stunning artwork, this one is beautiful, anther excellent piece of work Rima. I look forward to the vinyl record coming out. Hope you are making progress on your new lorry, look forward to seeing how its coming along.

Rima Staines said...

Thank you all!
As ever, your words are lovely to read!
Ms - thanks for the heads-up re sharing buttons - they weren't showing up for some reason, and I think I've fixed it now, so hope it'll be easier to share posts via various platforms.
As for paying for the record a different way - I know Dark Mountain would be accommodating about this. Just email them at info@dark-mountain.net :)

Laurel Massé said...

Oh Rima! This is profoundly beautiful. I am a singer, and this work has touched me very deeply. Thank you for sharing your process and your art.
Blessings on all you do.
Laurel

Valerianna said...

A really beautiful image, Rima. I love where you went with this. The spirits in the palette are overwhelmingly beautiful - and of course, you had the eyes and heart to see them, not everyone would. I keep seeing more and more the more I look.

Terri Windling said...

Beautiful as always, dear Rima. And I've signed up for my copy of the CD!

peter adams said...

Lovely to follow your process. I sculpt in wood and find the journey from beginning to end always fascinating. Love from Tasmania.

Em said...

This is such a beautiful and emotive image and I love the hope the tears & instruments offer.

Just beautiful.

Do you go in with coloured pencils as that final step? You got me curious.

Hussam Elsherif said...

You are re truly an enchantress, Rima and I'm taken by the beauty and enchantment of Mourning of the World.

Rima Staines said...

More thanks to you, friends, it's so heartening to hear you love this one so!

Em - no, only graphite pencil. All the colour comes from the watercolour.

Megan Elizabeth said...

Beautiful.

Thank you.

elfine said...

bonjour,
votre blog, ou je viens de temps en temps est toujours extraordinaire. Je ne me lasse jamais de le visiter.
Bonne continuation.

Vicki said...

Rima, the images in your beautiful painting touched my heart so!
And the music links sung to something deep within.

This morning, I contributed towards a CD, and in two more weeks, I will donate further.
I so want this wonderful music to soar out into a world that sorely needs to hear it!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

These are marvelous, Rima. Quite extraordinary.

Els said...

This is so wonderful ! Especially love the ghost-like animals in the dress. Thanks for sharing this work of art, Rima !
(and lots of succes ;-) !)

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Marvelous beyond words. And I cannot wait to have the music, either!

Ciara said...

This is very wonderful, Rima! I'm a huge Paul Kingsnorth fan, how have I missed your connection before? How exciting!

Beautiful work, as always. xxx

Sara Crowe said...

I'm exploring your blog and feeling a lot like a kid who just fell down a rabbit hole into somewhere very wonderful. Beautiful work.