The Beast From The East (Mary Poppins) - Original

Mark Davies British Artist

  • I have created a number of pieces to date inspired by the film and shows how I have come at it from a very different angle, suggesting that there was a relationship between Mary and Bert and playing out the reality of that across a number of very, very different pieces for clients. You might remember the 'Cast Off Your Shackles piece from last year but won't have seen 2 other pieces that I will post up, this being the first.

    Mary Poppins is a classic film where it cleverly masks over the underlying darkness of the plot and some of the characters, no one more than Mary herself. The two main areas I wanted to look at where Marys’ character and also her relationship and possibly history with Bert. As quirky and surreal as Mary Poppins is, with all of her spells, singing to birds and flying about under an umbrella there is a very strong dominating quality and power that she portrays over a good number of the characters so she gets what she wants, gets the job done. When you then hold that thought and re watch the film it really does come to light and you see Mary in a completely different light, you really can’t get away from it.

    The 2 characters of Mary and Bert are polar opposites in terms of class and character yet they have such a bond and if you take the line in the story where Bert says it’s 'nice to see you again Mary Poppins’ then we have something, they have history, why? There is another factor in that she appears when needed and heads back when the wind changes, the fact that she isn’t settled is something else that I have looked at.

    So Paula Abdul said opposites attract, she did well for herself so I’m running with it. I have created a piece based on the theory that Mary Poppins and Bert have a lust that burns and a very dark secret that they play out up on the roof where they don’t have to dodge anything, apart from the odd cannonball. Mary Poppins takes on the dark, dominatrix character and Bert the submissive, innocent ‘English’ gent that he is.

    The innocence of love, in their eyes what they do is not sordid or wrong, it’s beautiful, it is purely their characters playing out. This is what I have set out to achieve in the overriding feel of the piece and how people interact with it, to create something that is ultimately beautiful and intricate to the point where it dilutes the harshness of what they are doing up there. So rather than putting it in your face it is subtly hidden, just like they try to do. I also wanted to achieve a sense of movement in the piece to convey the changing wind direction and Mary coming in and going away.

    The scene is set on one of the most iconic places of the story, the roof terrace, looking out over London with the billowing chimneys and St Pauls on the horizon. The strong sky, shadows and warm skylights were qualities that I picked up on from the film and have used them as key parts of the piece. The rooftop is littered with objects that tell of their explosive liasons, some clear, some subtle that are picked up on from tiny references within the narrative. The wind is blowing in from the east, Mary is here. With the wind, a darkness blows in with it, shown from the pollution coming from the chimney (hyper exaggerated in its force to reference the damaging affects of pollution). The weathervane points West and has been chained down by Bert in an attempt to trick his love to not realising the wind has changed and to keep her with him, conveying his innocence.
    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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