Shored Fragments (Study of Roman Swan), 2019


Original Artwork


Joseph Black

Shored Fragments (Study of Roman Swan) , 2019

Oil on Panel

228.6 x 304.8 mm


Limited edition of 1


From the series Empty Horizons, 2019


Empty Horizons , 2019 is a series of works exploring poetic and melancholic landscapes.  


Shored Fragments (Study of a Roman Swan), 2019, shows a swan's head replaced with that of a Roman bronze used to decorate the prow of a ship. The bronze was found at Richborough near to where the Roman's first landed in Britain and now in the collection of the British Museum. The work can be seen to explore themes of cultural history and identity, as well as revealing subtle shifts of meaning provoked by processes of repoduction and translation.

The work is evocative of empty windswept beaches, often showing only fragments or remains of histories, cultures, and people. The metaphor of change and impermanence is encapsulated in a work showing the ripples in the sand made by the tide. This same feeling of ephemerality is carried over into the paintings, which show figures from a very distant and lonely landscape; single birds within an expanse of empty sky, or single fish within the endless sea. In these works the artistic interpretation of the landscape draws on references from the poems of Samuel Beckett and T.S. Elliot, as well as from classical mosaics or religious and ceremonial objects whose meanings and purpose have been lost to time.


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