This charcoal drawing/ painting is after Rubens' famous painting. I did the drawing to understand the composition of the piece, acting as a basis for a sculpture in Firestone, made for the Wall of Lemba.
The drawing was part of a series of works I had pursued during my time in Cyprus, becoming influenced by the landscape and the poem of Prometheus by Franz Kafka (particularly taken by the second verse).
'According to the first, he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.
According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.
According to the third, his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.
According to the fourth, everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.
There remains the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.'
This poem began my work with rocks; seeking the Prometheus within them and to set him free from wherein he is contained.
This drawing was created through using charcoal and turpentine, smudging the charcoal dust and using a rag with turpentine and push material around the surface. As I continued to add layers of charcoal, I gradually drew into the image to bring form, adding a little white oil pastel where needed to separate areas slightly - though overall I wanted the forms of the Eagle (Zeus) and Prometheus to becoming one form in its composition.
Charcoal, Oil Pastel (White), Turpentine, Linseed Oil, Olive Oil, Paper