Art doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t even have to be something that you like, but it’s a pretty universally acknowledged truth that for art to be successful it has to be inspiring, none more so than in the case of Tim Lane’s latest project.
Working in conjunction with Antlers Gallery, which describes itself as “nomadic by design” but based in Bristol, the artist is seeking to create a rather unique piece titled Anima Mundi. A five-metre long graphite drawing on paper, it will be presented in concertina book form, which will be bound into a limited edition of only 200 copies. The twist however (as if a concertina book wasn’t twist enough), is that it will only be produced if funds are raised through their Kickstarter campaign before May 10, 2014. No pressure then.
Never originally intended for public view, Lane created the original artwork during his time working at Bristol’s Harold Hockey supply shop. The result was an intensely personal, emotive series of drawings that took two years to complete. Accordingly, the book’s title, Anima Mundi, comes from the Latin for “soul of the world”, referencing its inspiration from the “intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet; an energy which relates to the world in the same way as the soul is connected to the human body,” thus evoking an ethereal sense, which has resulted in comparisons being drawn between Lane’s work and the likes of Arthur Rackham.
Perhaps the nicest thing about this initiative is that there is something inclusive about it all that means that anyone with a passion for creativity can be a part of it not simply because without that participation there is the very real chance that it may not happen, but also because of the quality of the draughtsmanship and the subject matter. As Jack Gibbon, founder of Antlers Gallery, says, “The work asks more questions than it answers … the viewing of the art becomes an event in itself. It’s art that requires us to actively engage with it, making each viewing unique and new.”
Of course, everything about this project is highly considered, so even the concertina presentation is not an arbitrary notion. Taking the severed heads and skeletal frames, fertile plants and flowers, the chaos, sexuality, death, decay; all culminating into a sense of dark fantasy, the format enhances a shifting sense of closure as it flips and changes both narrative and form.
Ultimately however, there is a rather beautiful feel of agony and ecstasy in Anima Mundi, which is perhaps a rather poignant and fitting reflection of its moniker. For it to flourish, it doesn’t just need the visualisation of one person, but rather the collective vision of many as the key to making it happen really is in the palm of your hand!
by Bonnie Friend
Make Anima Mundi happen at Kickstarter before May 10, 2014