Ill-Gotten Gains (The Elves & The Shoemaker) - Original

Mark Davies British Artist

  • I have constructed a scene that has a mix of innocence, magic, greed, anger and darkness. The composition and choice of objects convey the growth of the shoemakers’ business and ultimate failings with the results of this being there for all to see. The title choice of ‘Ill-gotten Gains’ represents how the shoemaker was given the helping hand to kick-start his business and enjoy the security that his wife and he craved yet through greed and naivety made bad decision after bad decision whilst ignoring the advice from those that helped him, making more enemies than money.

    The piece itself showcases depth of field through setting key detail in stages moving front to back and then the landscape that you can see through the factory windows. I wanted to include a significant amount of detail within the piece and ensure that they are harmonised with tone and ambience. The factory is oversized and showing its’ age and neglect, beautiful but damaged windows bring in light and hope but fight against dusty spaces and intense shadows.

    The workbench takes centre stage, it is where it all started and displays the tools of the trade, where the magic did happen (and still could if he would only take of the blinkers). Positive messages and advice from the elves are written into the wood yet are ignored in favour of embarking on a path of destruction and chaos.

    As you move towards the back of the factory signs are there to show the results of how he has run his business - customer returns stacked to the rafters dwarfing the new orders, broken windows and angry scrawled messages represent the enemies that he has made. As a result of his failing business, subsequent debts and diminishing reputation the wolves are circling, with his inability to keep them from his door depicted by a single wolf walking freely through the factory. Through the window shows more destruction, huge areas of forest have been cleared to make way for a transport link yet a rusting truck sits behind deteriorating shutters.

    Yet with darkness always exists light and this is depicted by the strong glow that is bursting through into the factory that represents hope, the dove is there to signify hope and protection in times of adversity. All is maybe not lost, the subtle magical details that interact with the shoemakers’ tools and workbench hint at that. The solitary tree that stands in the clearing that the client requested is a further example that the strong will always stand tall.
    1. Released: 2016
    2. Collection: Storyteller
    3. Specification: 1 of 1 original framed embellished canvas, hand signed by artist.
    4. Image Size: 48” x 36"
    5. Framed Size: 54” x 41"

Category: spo-default, spo-disabled

Type: Original Artwork

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