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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.

Contact: johncockshaw@gmail.com

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


Alone in the depths...

A cavern in firelight

Grim firelight coming from afar or hopeful sunlight at the end of the tunnel?  Depicting a haunting subterranean location was the intention here with a lost and lone figure crouched to the lower right.  The scene is very much open to interpretation, it might very well be Bilbo before or after his finding of the ring and encounter with Gollum.  Perhaps it could be another moment altogether.  The emphasis is on giving character to the deep dark terrain below the surface of Middle-earth where all kinds of terrible things and fates lurk...

Source photographic elements: Fraisthorpe beach, East Yorkshire and stone/rock studies taken in Tunisia and the Sahara desert (April 2010)

At the upper levels of Middle-earth...

A Prey bird on high

This prey bird of Arda
Perches on high
At the uppermost levels
Where the winds heavily sigh

Eagle-friend, known to Ravens
It watches from a remote haven
Dispatcher of news and silent sentry
Into untold stories it will make entry

For now all is calm 
Quietness reigns
His sight reaches far 
All senses aflame...

The inspiration for this piece in not so much Tolkien's text but the views that I have from my high office at work and the sprawling vistas over the moors and countryside of West Yorkshire and the imposing rocks nearby at Ilkley.  This bird, being neither eagle nor raven, inspired me to write the accompanying poem of a lone sentry-like bird high above Middle-earth.

Source photographic elements:  Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire and photographic stone studies taken in North Yorkshire.  The bird (unidentified) was photographed on Ilkley moorlands near the 'Cow and Calf' rock formation March 2013 


So much fear and doubt over so small a thing...

A secret only fire can tell... (2 variations)

'To Frodo's astonishment and distress the wizard threw it suddenly into the middle of a glowing corner of the fire.  Frodo gave a cry and groped for the tongs; but the wizard held him back...No apparent change came over the ring...The room grew dark and silent...then he stooped and removed the ring to the hearth with the tongs, and at once picked it up.  Frodo gasped.'

Chapter II The Shadow of the Past p49-50
The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R Tolkien)

The Forging of The One Ring

Source photographic elements: Macro fire and ring photography