A2 signed prints of this painting are available (the original has found a home.) Price includes P&P to UK address.
Or, buy a digital file to print at a format and size of your choice for £35. Read more about how this works…
Dig on Down is a painting about nature, history, archaeology, our place in the natural world and our relationship with horses.
Dig on Down is a follow-up composition to a painting I made in 2018 entitled Buried Treasure. Buried Treasure considers themes of life, death, the value of things. It was partly inspired by BBC TV’s Detectorists, a series with big themes about the true value of things. Dig on Down continues these thoughts.
I have tried to show regeneration and the hope that Mother Nature gives us – so important right now – as well as how we think we have tamed the natural world. The pandemic proves that we have not tamed it – we are part of it – and we must respect and exist within it.
In Dig on Down, I have shown some archaeological treasures. On the centre right is an Anglo Saxon brooch from Faversham, Kent from about 555-650 AD. I chose a beautiful piece featuring a raven design. On the left is more Anglo Saxon treasure – a golden horse’s head from the Staffordshire hoard and a buckle from Alton, Hampshire.
Horses and humans
When humans first tamed horses, 6,000 years ago it changed our history. Horses enabled humans to travel great distances at speed and transport heavy loads. Further down the painting I have illustrated the beautiful horses painted in French caves about 17,000 years old, a time well before we tamed horses. Great herds of wild horses roamed free across Europe providing food for the tiny human population which had not yet developed farming. As humans, we love the power and grace of horses, and the miracle of actually being able to control them – some people would say ‘enslaved’. But we would do well to remember that without horses, human history would be very different indeed.
Colours of the earth
I have tried to use deep dark earthy colours throughout in a very limited range; umbers, ochres, and a magical deep purple. The central belt is the only place I have used green – to reflect the thin layer between the earth’s crust and the troposphere in which all life exists.
The giraffey pattern on the tree expresses the tree bark and also references phloem and xylem, the tiny tubes that transport nutrients and fluids up and down a tree.
I hope you dig Dig on Down as much as I enjoyed painting it.
The original has been given to my daughter. Signed prints are available now. The image on the print is exactly the same size as the original printed onto a sheet of A2. Order yours today!