Available WHILST STOCKS LAST as WRATH, RUIN AND A RED NIGHTFALL: The Art of John Cockshaw from Amazon.
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
Drawn live at the ART IN THE MILL Gallery in Knaresborough during the final week of the collective exhibition 'Far from the Shire', this mountainous view of The Blue Mountains began with a line and pencil-shaded under-drawing before further development with drawing pen and watercolour pen.
The exhibition has now come to a close officially and a proper report with photographs will follow very soon.
(Acrylic and ink. John Cockshaw, 2017)
Bywater and the scouring of The Shire
(Pen, ink and acrylic on paper. John Cockshaw, 2017)
This newly posted piece dates back to a year ago and, as a combination of ink drawing and photographic study, was produced specifically for the exhibition 'Dales of a perilous Realm' featuring myself and Archaeologist Shaun Richardson that featured at Mill Bridge Gallery in Skipton, Yorkshire between February and June 2016. The reference point is Ingleborough, one of the forbidding Three Peaks that lie in the breathtaking Yorkshire Dales.
The months leading up to September this year were extremely busy with planning and discussion between a horde of artists and organisers for an exhibition that I had the good fortune of having a prominent role. It was an exciting time and an exciting exhibition too.
'ILLUMINATING TOLKIEN: An exhibition of Art and Illustration' was the show that resulted. In partnership with Time&Tide Events, a Gateshead-based events team (and Tolkien enthusiasts), we worked to a plan of putting on an exhibition inspired by Middle-earth to feature at their second annual Tolkien Weekend event in Newcastle. The first Tolkien Weekend in September 2015 attracted an impressive footfall of visitors and even gained (surprisingly) coverage of BBC's Songs of Praise. For 2016 Time&Tide managed to attract the attention of JRR Tolkien's great-grandson Royd Tolkien as guest of honour.
Over the course of one week, 19th-25th September, the show was installed at two venues in Newcastle city centre; St. Nicholas' Cathedral and Newcastle castle. The exhibition opened with the preview night on the evening of Monday 19th September.
The Artists on show: John Cockshaw, Jemima Catlin, Tomas Hijo, Soni Alcorn-Hender, Jay Johnstone, Anke Eissmann, Ted Nasmith, Stephen Graham Walsh, Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Peter Xavier Price, Tsvetelina Krumova and Archaeologist Shaun Richardson.
Of particular note was the appearance of recent Official HarperCollins illustrator Jemima Catlin. Catlin's illustrations graced the 2013 edition of 'The Hobbit' and it was a joy to have Jemima accept the invitation to exhibit with us, and most of also exhibited at The Tolkien Society's Oxonmoot earlier in the month. Archaeologist Shaun Richardson joined us again too, and being the third time of involving Richardson in an exhibition project it was a pleasure to have his unique Middle-earth inspired survey drawings grace the show. The array of art on show was quite incredible and as many of the artists were too geographically out of reach to attend the show we were able to put together a greetings video to give some of the artists a chance to say "Hello" and attend the exhibition in spirit.
It is a huge pleasure to be able to say that 'Wrath, Ruin and a Red Nightfall: The Art of John Cockshaw' will shortly be available and the book can be pre-ordered by following the link here to the dedicated Oloris sales page. It is available in a variety of packages with a choice of art cards or print bundle options. Shipping of the book is expected to begin from May.
I'm extremely excited about the imminent release and will post related information once the book makes it's official arrival!
DALES OF A PERILOUS REALM: An exhibition of work by Artist John Cockshaw featuring a collaboration with Archaeologist Shaun Richardson.
It has lately been a long couple of months without any news updates but I'm very pleased, and this is literally just on the eve of the event itself, to announce a new exhibition of my work along with contributions from a very valued collaborator; Archaeologist Shaun Richardson. "Dales of a Perilous Realm" takes an intriguing approach to JRR Tolkien-inspired art and combines photography, archaeology, drawing with a loving tribute to our favourite locations and beauty spots in the Yorkshire Dales. The area wouldn't have been unknown to Tolkien considering he was based fairly close by during his time as Professor at The University of Leeds, but the show is very careful not to make any claims that Yorkshire directly inspired his creation of Middle-earth.
The press release for the exhibition is included on the next page:
The video here is a behind-the-scenes look at the latest exhibition of mine "Dales of a Perilous Realm" that opens in the scenic North Yorkshire town of Skipton on 27th February. I discuss my collaboration with Archaeologist Shaun Richardson, the thinking behind the show and give a glimpse at the finishing touches made to the exhibition whilst it was being installed on-site at the gallery.
After an intensely busy four-month period of planning I can now proudly announce that my second exhibition as curator (in addition to artist) has opened. In fact, it has open for just over ten days at the time of writing. EVIL IN THE SHINING LIGHT: ART INSPIRED BY THE WORKS OF JRR TOLKIEN presented an ambitious project for me to oversee from its very conception. It began as a proposal in response to a call for contributors from Bank Street Arts in Sheffield for their biannual book-arts festival 'Opening up the Book'. Conceived as a two-part exhibition curated over two gallery rooms it ended up comprising three interlinked parts - and if ever there was an opportunity to try something brave and conceptual this was certainly it!
Soni Alcorn-Hender, Tomas Hijo, Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Jay Johnstone, Tsvetelina Krumova - Elmenel and Ted Nasmith. Joining these artists were contributions from German writer Marcel Aubron-Bulles (aka The Tolkienist) and some inventive archaeological drawings referencing Weathertop by Archaeologist Shaun Richardson. The interpretation of the title, and indeed the reason it was chosen, draws very much on its far-reaching quality; with it serving as a beginning from which many diverging threads may lead. The presence of Sauron and the One Ring is evident in many pieces, as is Smaug in addition to implying the wretched motivations of Gollum but there is also the suggestion of danger/evil in other inanimate objects such as Galadriel's mirror of the Palantir discovered by Pippin at Isengard. Also a theme of the exhibition is the threat of evil encroaching upon seemingly safe havens or the awesome and formidable power of nature, and also extended by referencing the actions of those who seek to counter the forces of evil; specifically Aragorn and Gandalf, the hobbits and Treebeard.
The second element of the exhibition (Gallery 3) broadens scope to include a video screening of THE SIGN OF THE SHINING BEAST by writer Robert S. Malan and John Cockshaw. This project, whilst exploring its own concerns of fractured narrative and the book forms of the graphic novel/ photo-roman, does possess a connection to Tolkien through its dream-like visual aesthetic in that it presents a series of hazy yet lucid visions to the viewer in the same vein as Galadriel's mirror or the aforementioned Palantir seeing stone. Much of the imagery in the video does present the occasional allusion to scenes from The Lord of the Rings but yet much of it is also non-specific and even Sci-fi in reference. A haunting soundtrack and eerie sound design accompanies the video and very effectively seeps into the adjoining gallery where the bulk of the Tolkien art is.
Thirdly, and connecting to the aesthetics of the video, its musical/sound design and extending the Tolkien-inspired reference is an exhibit covering one wall entitled ART FOR ASCENSION, DECLINE AND EVIL TIMES. The concern here is a small collection of prints that directly reference and take inspiration from Howard Shore's epic scores for The Lord of the Rings films and the 2010 book that provides a scholarly analysis of these scores by Musicologist Doug Adams. The art and suppporting text included in the exhibition is also acknowledged as first appearing in a two-part article of the same name by John Cockshaw for the film industry's premier film music magazine FILM SCORE MONTHLY ONLINE (Dec-Feb 2014/2015).
A feature and article on the exhibition in its finalised form will appear courtesy of The ScifiFantasyNetwork (SFFN) in the coming week or more. A selection of exhibition photos offer a glance of the fully installed show.
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)