| 'Illustrations & Drawings' comprises a cluster of illustrations of church and gothic architecture, along with a gathering of earlier exercises.
The first three drawings are of English cathedrals - Norwich, Exeter and Truro. These are grouped with Lacock Abbey of Wiltshire and St. Giles' Cathedral of Edinburgh, followed by a series of four computer illustrations of one aspect of Lincoln Cathedral lit in several different ways.
It was not until I attended university that my love for church architecture really gained momentum. Norwich has two cathedrals and Norfolk is full of medieval parish churches. Once Norwich had at least one church for every week of the year. They surrounded me and were empty for the most part. A number of them were adapted for non-religious purposes. At that point churchgoing numbers in England had been on the decline for some time.
|I often visited the Anglican cathedral - despite its age one of the most prominent buildings in the city. It possesses the highest Norman cathedral tower in all of England. On some days it was possible to spend half an hour there and only see a few souls. There were several chapels off the aisles and beautiful two-storeyed cloisters making a large quadrangle. Just through the west entrance into the nave was a mirror aimed at the ceiling so one could examine the boss designs amid the fanned vaulting.
Such buildings are wonderful, quiet places in which to contemplate. Not constructed in the name of commerce their existence is important. They are not temples of consumption but for spiritual nourishment.
| Predominantly set during 1640-70 the 'Men With Hats' pictures are interrelated but can be viewed individually. The depicted men wear hats, naturally. Each hat conveys the presence of a theme, a facet of male behaviour. Some of these aspects are not as pleasant as others and some may mirror the contemporary world.
I started the first image of the group in 1989. 'Poisoned' depicts an ailing man in an ominous setting, a mortal experiencing a moment of trouble and weakness. I was interested in seventeenth century northern European paintings explaining the man's costume. It was unintentional that I should follow a painterly style though the somewhat gloomy nature of the image may have a gothic quality about it. By then the goth subculture had been established for a number of years in the United Kingdom. A pattern may have emerged in the following pictures, though I would be reluctant to pigeonhole them.
'1649' uses a close-up depiction again. On a hillside in the background lies the severed head of Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1649 being the year he was executed. The painting alludes to the British Isles' monarchy ending at one point, a fact often overlooked. 'Man and Dog 1' depicts wandering through darkness, a metaphor for exposure to adversity.
| In 'Above The Law' an authoritarian gazes at the viewer. With his hand on a globe he seems determined to accrue worldwide power. 'Dutch In The Medway' presents a smoking rambler, a spectator of a near scrape for England's defence. Suffering from the plague he meets the onlooker with a smile despite being at death's door. He embodies defiance in the face of affliction. 'The Scientist' has his profile showing with a sinister shadow following his moves - perhaps the price to pay for accumulating special knowledge, or is the thought of such surveillance just a suspicion or even a figment? 'Man and Dog 2' conveys passing into the unknown with trepidation. 'Puritans' presents a couple in front of a changing landscape. To the left are unspoiled fields. To the right is a contemporary cityscape, the outcome of settlers' efforts in America. The eyes of the pair are darkened signifying their inability to see the future. 'The Conversation' sees a shadowed man and woman talking in front of a banquet. One can only speculate whether they will jeopardise the evening's proceedings. In 'Man and Dog 3' a roamer plays the guitar, unwinding in the shade while his dog rests at his feet. They are at peace.
|I started the 'Ethereal Muses' group in 1995 with 'Visitation'. Originally an acrylic canvas, my initial intention was to light it from behind creating a translucent effect. As shown, the image is light enough without this, though the effect was interesting. The woman in the foreground prays to be released. The descending angel is an interpretation of those seen in some of the work of Rogier van der Weyden, one of my favourites. 'Apparition' indicates a miraculous appearance or a hallucination. For many such an event is very unusual, still reported by some. 'The Glen' shows a woman progressing alongside the water of a leafy vale. The image of the woodland and stream is a digitally enhanced version of one of my photographs with the woman a superimposed composition, the two blended to form one portrayal. An acrylic canvas, 'Benedicta' depicts a young woman tranquilly gazing at the viewer. She is in front of an archway with a cathedral in the background. Modelled on an English structure the building raises issues of contemplating worship. 'Floating' is an illustration presenting aerial buoyancy, the ability to reach out, rise above and to levitate.|
| In 'Norse Dusk' a silhouetted leader prepares in the calm before a conflict. 'Angels' portrays a couple of heavenly messengers before they leave on a divine quest. 'Spirits Of The Glen' shows a pair of ghosts wandering through a lakeside glen, hand in hand they obliviously gallivant. 'Night Vision' depicts another hallucination, on this occasion a shadowy figure at night. 'The Annunciation' is an interpretation of the announcement of the Incarnation rendered in a sepia-type palette. 'The Clansman' displays the figure of a Scottish Highlander and his dog before the Highland Clearances. And 'The Little People' shows a congregation of Manx fairies scattered through Glen Helen in the Isle of Man.
There is a religious current evident in a number of these works. This is possibly as a result of the influence of a plenitude of church buildings, as mentioned in my commentary for 'Illustrations & Drawings'. I have appreciated the gothic style for many years and try to capture a little of its spirit in some of my pictures.
Ian D. E. Macintosh, Edinburgh, 2019
| Ian D. E. Macintosh is a fine artist and graphic designer specialising in painting with acrylics and drawing. Ian grew up in the Isle of Man, where his love of the island's lush scenery contributed to an interest in the visual experience. He went on to study the History of Art & Architecture at the School of World Art Studies & Museology within the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
In 1993 he moved to the United States, where as a postgraduate he undertook a Digital Design course in the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. While there he worked for the University's School of Engineering as a software and web designer, on a number of projects featuring departmental research.
After Ian returned to the U.K. in 1997, he worked as a designer for British Telecom, Virgin and the U.K. government. Turning to graphic design, he completed his studies at the Norwich School of Art and Design. Since then he has concentrated on individual fine art encompassing painting and drawing, while retaining an interest in design.
Ian is proficient in the use of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Affinity Designer, among other titles.