Ersilia (2020)

Our garden is full of threads at the moment; the elaborate, death-defying webs of the orb spiders, with their juicy brown bodies. When Graeme Daly over at Gentle Giant offered up the city of Ersilia from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities as our starter-for-ten for the Kick-About#13, these spider-webs were utmost in mind’s eye as I considered how to respond to our fortnightly creative prompt. Our garden’s industrious arachnids made me think of the inhabitants of Ersilia and the complexity of structures, and their indomitable commitment to always moving on and rebuilding their structures all over again. I decided I would weave my own webs out in the garden, which I did, much to the consternation of all the house sparrows watching me beadily from the safe harbour of the hedge.

My original idea was to embrace colour, but the skies above me were grey and my mood somehow more sombre than that. I imagined instead coming upon the abandoned buildings of Ersilia, an explorer taking pictures of a vanished civilisation using his unwieldy camera on some unwieldy tripod. I easily imagined the sound of the wind in all the remaining wires, and how haunting a sound like that might be. I recalled suddenly my childhood fear of pylons marching across the countryside, eyeing them warily from the back seat of my parent’s car, and ultimately settled on producing this series of rather melancholy images.

11 thoughts on “Ersilia (2020)

  1. Hello Phil I sent an email just over a week ago relating to Ersilia and after speaking with Francesca I think maybe you did not get my mail and images.? So maybe the images were too big ? I will send them again in several emails. I was intrigued by the subject and Francesca said it reminded her of some of my work. I did not have much time to create new work as it was the weekend before the deadline. Here are the images that I felt contained some of the feeling of these deserted cities….from deserted nests and webs and the cardboard constructions I have made called โ€˜Fragmentโ€™. The last painting is more recent and seems to me like the unravelling of a structure seen through a web of threads. Here are the images:

    More to follow. Hope you get them. Jan Blake Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan! No, I didn’t get your images – oh no! I wonder what happened there? I would have been all over them like a rash! Yes, do please send again and I’ll confirm receipt – and then I’ll pop you into the showcase accordingly! Let’s have better luck next time!


    1. Hey Jan – this is odd! Nothing is coming through to my email: can you drop me a line through the contact bit on the blog – just send a few lines and let’s establish a line of communication ๐Ÿ™‚


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