Saturday, 25 January 2014

82 - 87

82# Embassy
Oil on skin
A large image painted across multiple skins, invisibly stitched.
The scene is historically incoherent.  Set within one of the sunken stone forests of the Drow, lost long ago and known now only in song.  But featuring Knotsmen, whose origin should lie after that event. The pale calcified trees of the forests forced underground when the Drow were driven from the earth, shine, carved and whetted, under the conflicting glows of multiple meeting courts.

A young Drow priestess sits, naked, yet covered by the swirling forms of tortured geisha golems in silk that halo her always, cursed never to be still and never quite to touch her flesh. Ultraviolet butterflies form knots of blue-black light around her. Opposing her, a Knotsman embassy, several of their Weeping Knights, a pair of fathers and a Balif, horribly crooked and strewn with scrolls on a palanquin of naked Usurers. They carry lanterns of burning magnesium and infra-red.

Crowded in the background are nobles and chiefs of many cultures. Olm in their savage finery. Duergar and cringing Derro. Illithid are not absent. A Beholder chats to a Fungal Ambassodile and some slow drifting Archeans. The scene is thick with cunning, the eyelines and body language of each person present sketch out a story of deceit and secret advantage. But whose is not clear

83# A Star Map
Glass and magically crystallised lead.
This antiwindow is a weave of the bullet-point semi-luminescent slatwork resulting when lead is crystallised at room temperature. Slivers of glass are carefully placed to highlight the darkness of the negative space. The chiascuro shadowplay created by the lead and glass contains encoded information. A map, through song, to an unknown constellation of stars. The map uses darkness, not light at its waypoints.
It is designed for extra-terrestrial travel, where the starlight is so bright and continuous that the black nebulae that blot out the light are more visible than the lights themselves. These dust-clouds are the frozen weave, the shards of glass are time and tone to give the order and the depth.

84# Tunnel and Rider
Paper scraps glued together with meal and spit.
This was painstakingly drawn with broken pencil bits and colours from ground-up food rock dust and blood. An eye-cramping clench-work of black lines is worked around the central image of a frightened rider. The rider is being enclosed by some unknown force, he stares directly out of the image, wide-eyed and helpless. Hidden in the black lines is the Thing with Eyes on Its Back which seems to be moving towards the rider. When carefully measured, the abstract curls of the thing give clues to a secret entry to the city of Ganglia Moor

85# Rats Embargo.
Kinetic sculpture in steel and tin
This hectic revolving monster is powered by sourceless clockwork to no useful end. The blind gigantic beast that makes its base turns slowly with audible clicks. On its back is a counter-rotating multi-levelled pagoda-temple. Human figures powered by wires race all over its walls and floors. Their actions are frantic and desperate yet seem to serve no purpose. At the top and conclave of fat rat-men with lolling tongues turn to each other and nod.

86# Philtre of the Silent Saints.
Glass bottle with the head of a snake.
This treasure is a scent. Anyone who smells it will feel as if transported to a bioluminescent garden of strange beauty. In the dark spaces between the fruiting bodies of the glowing plants, the faces of strange enamelled gods peek through. Mirrored and surfaced with shining glaze these house-sized twisted faces bring only calm. Anyone in the garden feels utterly safe from any outside threat. The scent has no physically protective qualities but does supress the effects of threatening scrying, curses and any kind of remote magical attack.

87# Maeg Lome
Oil on Canvas
A couple embrace in a city of blue stone lit only y flickering blue flames in cages of gold. Through a window we see buildings, square set and storm-cell blue. In the room, the walls are layered with white flowers on the blue tile. The silk of  the sheets is white and the bed itself of many colours. The male figure sits on the bed-edge, legs half crossed. The woman stands, a sheet runs down her naked skin, she half-turns, back towards the man.