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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


Art and the Music of LOTR (A feature in FILM SCORE MONTHLY ONLINE) Part 1 of 2

This announcement comes with great excitement and pride (and can now be revealed after a few months working quietly behind the scenes on it):

LOTR-focused Cover of December 2014 Issue of FSMO 
is an illustrated article created exclusively for Film Score Monthly Online (FSMO) the film music industry's premier magazine.  In two parts, it offers a body of original art inspired specifically by Howard Shore's soaring, magisterial film score for The Lord of the Rings (taken as a three-part operatic whole) as a distinct telling of JRR Tolkien's masterpiece on its own merits despite its functional and inseparable ties to Peter Jackson's cinematic adaptations.  

Screenshot of Page 1 of Article in FSMO

The art pieces also make reference to The Hobbit film scores as heard so far at the time of writing the article (between June-September 2014).

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.

How exactly do you create art that acknowledges a film score?  How does the art keep its own originality and avoid resembling the films the music accompanies, whilst somehow acknowledging them?  Interesting challenges to face to be sure and part of the motivation to set myself the task.

FSMO is a subscription-only publication and as such the article cannot be linked to here but the cover image and screenshot of my article is included to present a taster.  It is beyond fantastic to get content included here in this issue that puts a focus on Shore and Middle-earth, with the cover feature being an item where Doug Adams and Howard Shore wrap up the LOTR journey.

My thanks go to Kristen Romanelli and the editorial team of Film Score Monthly Online, Doug Adams and Howard Shore for the invaluable source material that provided my reference and inspiration.


EXHIBITION REPORT: The opening of "Now Far Ahead The Road Has Gone"

First mention in this post is a huge "Thank-you" to Artist Joe Gilronan and Legendarium Media who kindly put forward the idea of an interview and feature linked to the upcoming exhibition of mine and it was a pleasure for it to go live on Tuesday 8th December.
Legendarium website banner
The excellent piece can be read here.

Friday 12th December 2014 was the UK nationwide release date in cinemas of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and coincided with the opening preview of the exhibition Now Far Ahead The Road Has Gone: An Exhibition of Art Inspired by the Works of JRR Tolkien at the North Yorkshire venue of the Curzon chain of Arts Cinema; Curzon Ripon.

This venue is unique in its possession of a dedicated exhibition space and it was a great pleasure to put on the show as a display of three artists work each with a distinctive use of medium and approach to visualizing JRR Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth; myself, Ted Nasmith and Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska.

 The preview was well attended and received great feedback - catching the discerning Art lovers as well as the passing cinema crowds in and out of the screenings.  It was a privilege to be able to bring together the contacts and resources to mount the exhibition at this most well-timed release and have a celebration of all things Tolkien and Middle-earth in my home city of Ripon, North Yorkshire.  

I had the good fortune too to have the Mayor and Mayoress in attendance, along with lots of interested locals and members of Ripon's art community.  Also unique to the exhibition was the addition of promotional materials from Oloris Publishing for a range of their current and future Art and Middle-earth inspired releases.  Artist Jenny Dolfen also sent some postcards across for display and exhibition notes came courtesy of Archaeologist Shaun Richardson and Curator Becky Dillon.

A selection of photos of the work on show at the exhibition including the preview appear below:

Exhibition curated by Artist John Cockshaw