Steven Morant is a Leeds based artist interested in academic, figurative art. This is his take on ADVENTurous - and it is one, which brings the theme very close to home…
I applied to participate in the exhibition in the hope of achieving something positive and beneficial. Participation has encouraged me to try to make adjustments in my own life in preparation for Christmas.
I selected the theme, “Donkey” (one of a number offered by the curators.)
The story of the journey of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem appears only in the Gospel of Saint Luke. There is no mention of a donkey. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is the equivalent of that from Leeds to the East Coast. The journey would have taken several days and, for a pregnant woman, transport by donkey might have been very useful. Would it have been better to take the direct route or to travel down the Jordan Valley? If a lot of people were repatriating at the time, perhaps they would have travelled in a group, for safety.
I hope that my submission will include sketches of donkeys and a painting of a donkey at Hope Pastures, Horse and Donkey Trust, Weetwood Lane, Leeds 16. I also hope to include a drawing of the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, influenced by the carved reliefs which were done by Ancient Roman sculptors at about the time the journey took place.
I am interested in the acquisition and revival of the sort of skills which were attained by artists before the invention of photography. The work is not adventurous in the sense of being “avant-garde”, but the attempt to produce work of the standard to which I aspire, in compliance with the exhibition deadlines, has been an educational experience and a personal adventure.
You can find out more about academic, figurative art and see images from the Cast Collection Project - an exhibition held at the Edinburgh School of Art that Steven contributed to earlier this year. The exhibition explored ‘contrasting responses to the fate of plaster cast collections in art schools’. Find out more about this intriguing exhibition here http://castcontemporaries.weebly.com/index.html