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.

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


EXHIBITION REPORT: Evil in the Shining Light: Art inspired by the works of JRR Tolkien

Ten artists and writers.  One theme to bind them.

Soni Alcorn-Hender, Tomas Hijo, Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Jay Johnstone, 
Tsvetelina Krumova - Elmenel, Ted Nasmith, John Cockshaw, Archaeologist Shaun Richardson, 
Marcel Aubron-Bulles - The Tolkienist and Robert S. Malan. 

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!

 The JRR Tolkien-inspired element of the exhibition mainly took place in a single gallery (Gallery 2 of Bank Street Arts) and featured a collective of exciting Tolkien-inspired artists working in varied media and all delving into Tolkien's Middle-earth writing to produce unique interpretations.  What is more, each artist was working to a double theme and brief; 'Evil in the Shining Light' and 'Opening up the Book'.  Being as open a brief as that was, it resulted in some startlingly original new work alongside existing artwork from the back catalogue of those involved.  Those involved (joining myself) were Soni Alcorn-Hender, Tomas Hijo, Katarzyna Chmiel-GugulskaJay 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.


Evil in the Shining Light: Exhibition video

Exhibition video for the JRR Tolkien-inspired show that opens in a little over three weeks.  Inspired artists and writers on show and lots of thought-provoking content.


The Great Music and The Flame Imperishable

A short video taking inspiration from JRR Tolkien's THE SILMARILLION with specific focus on the early  parts of AinulindalĂ« (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.


EVIL IN THE SHINING LIGHT: Exhibition announcement for September 2015

The latest exhibition event I'm not only involved with but coordinating and curating got a great announcement recently here on scififantasynetwork.com.  The full press release, details and announcement video feature on this website and is presented very nicely (defeating the purpose of repeating it here).

Needless to say this upcoming project is something I'm very proud of and excited about!  Watch this space! 


Release announcement for July 2016: The Road, Taken

I'm very thrilled to post via Oloris Publishing the following announcement:

RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT: We are very honoured to announce that "The Road, Taken" by Janet Alvarez will be released on July 2nd, 2015! This collection is beautifully evocative and emotional, taking the reader on the fundamental journey of the hero. The deep, rich artistry of John Cockshaw / FineArtist accompanies Janet's poetry in a stunningly beautiful illustrated volume. A pre-order page will be available in May.

Illustrating and providing imagery for Janet's excellent poetry has been a rewarding experience over the past year and given that much of it is inspired by Middle-earth has allowed it to connect very well with the artwork produced and showcased on this blog.  This will not be the only book release I am attached to being released in July so I look forward to another imminent announcement soon.

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!



New work update: The Ascent of Darkness

Vision of the Tower of Evil

Voics from the Throat of the Night

Journey To The Cross-Roads...

An update here has been due for some time and the lack of one has been down to the moving of all things Art-wise in many directions (which I will explain) but also many roads that have been winding away simultaneously are now near to converging at the same spot.  I do love speaking in riddles...but this is all to say that things are kicking into gear for the coming summer months.  I'm weathering for an exciting time ahead.  July in particular.  But more on that later.  Soon.  Hopefully.

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.

As a slight departure from my JRR Tolkien-inspired work I had the great fortune of being interviewed with Writer Robert S. Malan on a collaborative video project that we've entered into a select handful of Film Festivals during 2015.  The Sign of the Shining Beast is a 12 minute short with strong Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Art Film influences and presents an enigmatic and unsettling meditation on dreams, vision and prophecy.

The interview here was featured as a cover story on the launch date for a brand new Arts/Fandom/Genre website www.scififantasynetwork.com.  Rob and myself are embarking on further exciting collaborative work that will be touched upon here from time to time also.


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

The February issue of FSMO (Film Score Monthly Online) recently featured the concluding part of my ambitious illustrated article on Howard Shore's epic scores for The Lord of the Rings (including aspects of The Hobbit) films.  As mentioned in the previous post concerning Part 1 the article makes substantial reference to the work of Author, Musician and Musicologist Doug Adams' excellent analysis of Shore's music as featured in his 2010 book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films (indeed follow Adams' related blog musicoflotr for more information).  The rationale and aim of the article was to respond artistically to Howard Shore's elaborately constructed Middle-earth scores via the illuminating analysis that Adams provides.  What this involved specifically for the artwork was substantial inspiration taken from the storytelling devices alive in Shore's music and the interpretation of masterful musical constructs (often coded musical references concealed or implied in the artwork through imagery and/or title).

As the online magazine is subscription only the article cannot be linked to here but please enjoy a series of specially selected screenshots of the final article in this blog post and remember that an earlier prelude to this article can be found on this very blog from June 2014 here.

The Lord of the Rings: Art for Ascension, Decline and Evil Times Part 2 by  John Cockshaw

(Many thanks to Managing Editor of FSMO Kristen Romanelli for her support and interest in the piece during its development)

A Very Yorkshire Hobbit: Artist/Curator Interview on the BBC. January 2015

One month ago the exhibition "Now Far Ahead The Road Has Gone: An Exhibition of Art Inspired by the Works of JRR Tolkien" came to a close in North Yorkshire with a very successful run from Mid-December til the end of January.  A wide range of visitors marched to see the show from across the county, nationwide and, delightfully, some international visitors too.  Verbal and written comments alike congratulated the mix of artwork content and style concerning my own work, Kat (Gugulska) and Ted's (Nasmith).

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