'The Green Man' is most commonly represented as a face surrounded by leaves, or with vegetation sprouting from the nose, mouth and head. Sometimes the face is composed entirely from leaves and foliage. Green Men are used as decorative architectural features, usually representing fertility and the regenerative cycle of the seasons.

I am interested in reinterpreting ‘The Green Man’ as symbol of the city of Stoke-on-Trent at this point in time; a motif that not only represents a sense of regeneration and renewal but one that could also be used to bring about changes, by highlighting what is effectively public artwork that already exists.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Faces in Wallpaper

I collect and re-work wallpaper collected from around the city. I began to notice that some of the patterns replicate the foliage and shapes seen on some of the Green Men within the city, so layered the images to align with the patterns and shapes, then blended the face into the pattern. Again, it surprises me how well they seem to fit...

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The Green Men in the images below are from the Market building in Stoke and a building on Percy Street, Hanley. The elements within these wallpaper patterns lend themselves to the 'spewing' effect of the Green Men here, where foliage and vines disgorge from the mouth and sometimes the eyes and ears too. To me it looks like they are speaking- some kind of decorative speech bubble is emerging. I have also noticed that both of these are cat-like forms, one of the types of Green Men recognised; Mike Harding also points out that 'Cats spewing foliage appear in the margins of medieval manuscripts', and the pink artwork in particular has a historical, aged appearance.

1 comment:

  1. These images became part of a poster submission for The 'Talking City' Poster Trail. TALKING CITY is Anna Francis’ Longhouse Guest Editor project, for March 2010. To view my submission and the other selected work go to http://www.longhouse.uk.com/news-and-opportunities/talking-city-poster-competition/