Phil Cooper, ‘Bedside Lights Sprouting’, 40cm x 40cm, Acrylic on paper
The tunnel led into a much larger cave, its walls, ceiling and floor formed from old stained mattresses in different prints and patterns. Dim orangey light was given out by an assortment of bedside lights sprouting toadstool-like from the floor and walls.
In Chapter 7 of Chimera Book 1, Kyp Finnegan finds himself all alone in the Bedrock Catacombs after narrowly escaping the clutches of Madame Chartreuse and her two henchmen, the Berserker and the Tealeaf. Like everything in the world of Chimera, the Bedrock Catacombs are comprised of abandoned things – in this instance, all those old mattresses you see fly-tipped at the sides of roads.
For his inspiration this week, artist Phil Cooper focuses on one of the bedside light-come-mushrooms that grow out of the floor and walls of the catacombs – a moment of comfort and calm – before events in the chapter take a more sinister turn!
“Chapter 7 takes place in the Bedrock Catacombs, a series of caves and tunnels, hollowed out of layers and layers of compressed detritus. The caves are lit by the glow of discarded bedside lamps, growing out of the walls and floors of the Catacombs like fungi. These images, in particular, chimed with me this week, as I’d been out walking in the woods over the weekend and found them alive with mushrooms and toadstools of all kinds. Some, I know, are edible, and others highly toxic; but which is which? I’ve no idea, so I’d never trust myself to take some home to cook. But the shapes and colours of the fungi always fascinate me when I find them each autumn. They just look so weird, straight out of a dark fairytale. So, a toadstool has found its way into the illustration for this chapter of Chimera, in the form of a children’s plastic lamp. There isn’t much time to sit and enjoy the warm cosy glow it casts though – the toe-biters are coming!”
Phil Cooper, October, 2020
Some of Phil Cooper’s reference photographs taken in-situ in the Berlin woods, October, 2020
Phil’s ‘Toadstool light’ painting in development on his art table in his Berlin studio, October 2020