Selections to be published in 2015 as WRATH, RUIN AND A RED NIGHTFALL: The Art of John Cockshaw by Oloris Publishing.
Welcome to the blog and this collection of original artwork inspired by The Lord of the Rings and J.R.R Tolkien's wider mythology of Middle-earth. Aside from the influence of the source writing of Tolkien influence is also drawn from Director Peter Jackson's film trilogy (2001-2003) and the highly regarded Tolkien illustrators Alan Lee and John Howe. The magnificent musical score written for the film trilogy by Howard Shore also holds a significant influence upon the atmospheric and evocative quality of the works in this collection. From Mordor to the Misty Mountains combines landscape, miniature-scale and composite photography to depict locations, dramatic scenes and characters from the enduringly popular stories.
PLEASE NOTE: This blog showcases Artwork (completed and in progress) and related exhibition news. There is NO option to purchase Art through this site at this time. Please visit from time to time as this may well change soon.
Copyright of all images belongs to John A Cockshaw
A short video taking inspiration from JRR Tolkien's THE SILMARILLION with specific focus on the early parts of Ainulindalë (Music of Ainur). The focus is very much on visual representations of music, harmony, cosmic growth and the the beginning of the universe and precedes any personification of the Ainur or the pivotal discord.
The following link to the video below offers a glimpse of the Artwork accompanying the release of Janet's book featuring my readings of the poetry accompanying the imagery. Enjoy!
March 25th, as usually falls on the Tolkienist's calendar, is Tolkien Reading Day and once again I had the pleasure of having a piece of artwork featured on Mechtild's LiveJournal in a post commemorating this anniversary featuring two poems by the excellent poet Janet Nelson-Alvarez. Many thanks to Linda Bachman and Janet Alvarez for this second opportunity to mark this date on the Tolkien calendar in such a great way.
(Many thanks to Managing Editor of FSMO Kristen Romanelli for her support and interest in the piece during its development)
A particular highlight was an interview for the regional BBC News bulletin just before Christmas on Saturday 20th December and which aired on Friday 2nd Jan (lunchtime and evening) and again on Friday 9th January. Whilst I do possess an official copy of the broadcast from the BBC I'm unable to publish it here. These screenshots from the bulletin provide a great overview of the news feature titled 'Yorkshire Hobbit' and the emphasis was very much on myself as the local artist and exhibition coordinator/curator.
With thanks to Video Journalist Philip Chapman of the BBC
|LOTR-focused Cover of December 2014 Issue of FSMO|
|Screenshot of Page 1 of Article in FSMO|
Inspiration is taken jointly from Shore's music and author/musicologist Doug Adams' excellent analysis of Shore's musical construction and thematic world building. Adams' intelligent work on the LOTR scores ignited my interest to such a degree that creating art as a response was a fascinating prospect.
|Legendarium website banner|
|Exhibition curated by Artist John Cockshaw|
Be sure to view at 1080p HD (or 720p if you're scared of dragons)
I was thrilled also that TheOneRing.net also posted a news item here on their website 20/11/14
Thanks also to The Northern Echo for the coverage on their online page here and The Tolkien Society website for the event listing on their website.
|Pre-release poster of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies at Curzon Ripon|
|Artist talk: From Mordor to the Misty Mountains. Sat 13th September|
This weekend (Saturday 13th September) I had the pleasure of giving a presentation on my Tolkien-inspired artwork at The Tolkien Society's annual meet in Oxford. Oxonmoot took place in the beautiful surroundings of Lady Margaret Hall, one of the colleges of Oxford University. The presentation touched on many aspects of my artwork and detailed a large amount of the thinking behind it and influences upon it.
It was also the chance to preview a couple of new works in progress at the end, despite running out of time to include all the content I'd prepared. Overall it was a fantastic experience and I also had the chance to exhibit again as last year in the accompanying Arts show with artists like Jay Johnstone, Tomas Hijo, Ted Nasmith, Soni Alcorn-Hender and Anke Eissmann to name but a few.
The exhibition was organised and run by Elena Krysova whom I owe many thanks for her hard work in co-ordinating it all.
Preview of new work in progress
Confrontation with Smaug
Advancing army (Helm's Deep draft) or Battle of the five-beat pattern (2nd preliminary title in response to Howard Shore's Middle-earth scores)
The Shire (variation of Shire dwelling and a well-kept garden)
See how the article shaped up here!
Better still, it was a thrill that the article (referencing as it does the sterling work of musicologist and author Doug Adams) appeared in the same news cycle as an item announcing Adams' appearance at Salt Lake City Fantasy Con and his 'return to Tolkien's world'.
Doug Adams was also kind enough to respond with feedback and share news of my article's appearance on TORn on Twitter. Much appreciated Doug!
The piece of artwork below didn't appear within the main article but further explores musical ideas of Howard Shore's Middle-earth music; with a particular focus on Smaug. Smaug's musical presentation in The Hobbit films is something I intend to explore in upcoming work but this initial concept is a good start. Using a fine exposure tool I've etched a portion of Smaug's musical phrase (referencing Adams' liner notes from the soundtrack release for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) above a grim representation of Bilbo approaching the sleeping dragon. There will be more to follow on this idea in good time...
Lastly, other interesting things are also in the works with fellow artists and poets so it will be nice to drop hints along the way if I can...
|Ascension and decline (2014)|
|Variations on a theme of The Ring of Power (2014)|
This piece, because of the complexity of building a likeness of Treebeard from tree forms and texture, benefitted from a physical cut and paste collage from photo prints. Being a crucial stage of developing the piece I could be confident that I'd selected the right elements to achieve the effect I was aiming for.