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|Final Snow (Caer Caradoc hill, Shropshire)
(From the book "Paintings of Church Stretton")
One of the very first, if not the first, landscape paining the artist did . . . . . . .
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
“Mysterious, oft-shrouded in mist, cloud-shadows prowl its surface, light embosses its surface; colours are fluid.
The view from Rectory Fields, spring already bursting forth and yet a last flurry of snow carpets the ground, melting almost within the day, sparse patches of white the only testimony to a last sudden cold snap before the onward march to summer.
Peter moved to Shropshire to paint the the myths and legends of England and Wales which are at the very roots of what contemporary fantasy art is made of. Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons, Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, Harry Potter, it's all rooted, one way or another, in the deeply fantastical legends of middle England, Mercia, The Welsh and English Marches land as he soon discovered, it's wildlife and landscape.
He says "you soon discover that you cannot really separate the people of the myths from the landscape or wildlife because so often they are deeply entwined, even a witch's spell, her cauldron brew, has ingredients from the flora of the area, weapons and clothing are rooted in the industries and raw materials of the area and battles are, of course, associated with places, hill forts, rivers, lakes, it's all inter-related".
Indeed, Caer Caradoc (pronounced "care carrad-ock") has a hill fort, and was the place where The Battle of Caer Caradoc was fought, Caratacus's final resistance to Roman rule in year 50
The artist's research for his Simulacra project shows Caractacus probably drew troops from the Cornovi, Ordovices and Silures tribes and of course the hill, the river in front (The River Teme) and what is now the Church Stretton Valley all played their part in what was a historical battle and the type of scene pastiched in so many a Hollywood movie, Pagan type warriors with swords and axes and metal bound wooden shields fighting Roman conquerers - visually, at least, the stuff of so many modern fantasy stories, surely?
Add-in the stories in the area of Merlin, King Arthur, Fairy Queens, Witches, Giants . . . . . the list is long and varied, and these characters all have relationships with the land and its wildlife.
Deborah Susan Jones : Editor