Out of the Violent Planet

Detail from a work in progress: Out of the Violent Planet, ink on paper, 12″ x 16″
© Richard A. Kirk 2012

Detail from a work in progress: Out of the Violent Planet, ink on paper, 12″ x 16″
© Richard A. Kirk 2012

Here are two details from a new work in progress called Out of the Violent Planet. The title is a riff on C. S Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet. In this detail you can see 3 stages of my process: pencil marks, outlining and rendering. Being pointillism, this piece will take some time to complete but I love to give monstrous figures a high degree of polish. There is something about working on a form in a highly focused way that lets you get beyond the pure gut reaction and lets you meditate on the beauty of form in a new way. The careful rendering also invites a more intimate experience for the viewer.

The impetus for this work has its root in the idea that simply to exist – if you interpret it in a certain kind of despairing way-  is an act of violence on the world. This was driven home to me this week while listening to coverage of the Curiosity landing on Mars. In doing a little research I came across the worrying thought that a manned mission to Mars would effectively deliver all manner of micro-organisms to the surface, which could potentially contaminate the entire planet in relatively short-order. Just existing in that place could have profound unintended implications.

So, that is where this drawing started, where it will end, who can say.
Richard.