Where’s Daddy Bear?

"Mummy Bear and Baby Bear", Brown Bears, 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

“Mummy Bear and Baby Bear”, Brown Bears, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

As part of the Brown Bears diptych for my luxury china plate series “In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia”, ‘Mummy Bear and Baby Bear’ highlights the practice of den hunting in Russia where hibernating adult bears are woken by dogs and shot as they emerge from their den, resulting in the orphaning of cubs if the female bear has produced a litter. Using Anselm Kiefer’s painting, ‘Parsifal III’, 1973 as the underlying layer of the drawing, this piece depicts not only the physical painted elements of Kiefer’s dark den like attic but also Kiefer’s symbolism, his bold challenges on recent history and the fact that Kiefer’s attic represents the origin of time. This signifies for me age-old relationships between man and animals, both good and evil.

'Mummy Bear and Baby Bear', Brown Bears, luxury fine English china plate by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Mummy Bear and Baby Bear’, Brown Bears, luxury fine English china plate by Jane Lee McCracken

Kiefer’s portrayal of the ‘Parsifal Saga’ and Wagner’s ‘Parsifal’ Opera include the symbolic ‘holy spear’ which in this drawing penetrates the cub’s neck creating Jung’s ‘Amfortas Wound’, the wound that never heals. The representation of the ‘Amfortas Wound’ not only suggests that man historically as a species continues to repeat controversial behaviour despite knowledge of its consequences, but also implies the pain of ‘loss’ that never completely heals. In the centre of the piece are a mother bear and her cub, a drawing montage of Viktor Koretsky’s 1942 WWII propaganda poster “Red Army Soldiers, Save Us!”. The drawing parallels not only the interpretation of the fairy tale ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ which moralises key needs for both humans and bears such as food, safety and shelter but also asks “where’s Daddy bear?”, is he also a victim of den hunting? The gun thrust into the faces of Mummy bear and Baby Bear is a WWII Russian PPSH41 Sub Machine gun replacing the German bayonet in Koretsky’s original poster suggesting ‘Friendly Fire’ on Brown Bears as it is Russian business deals that continue the practice of den hunting and result in the hunting of Russia’s national symbol.

Sadly the original black Biro drawing was damaged but thankfully not before the image in its original form reached THE NEW ENGLISH to be made into plates.  This plate and the the beautiful luxury prints made by Jack Lowe Studio are therefore very special to me on a personal level.

 

"Mummy Bear and Baby Bear", Brown Bears, 'In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia', 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

“Mummy Bear and Baby Bear”, Brown Bears, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, 2013 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

For plate enquiries please contact:

jane@janeleemccracken.co.uk

For plate sales please visit THE NEW ENGLISH

For luxury Archival Pigment prints made to order by master printmaker Jack Lowe Studio please visit my shop

Where Wolves and Bears Dare!

'TV Screen II - "Where Wolves and Bears Dare", 2009, colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘TV Screen II – “Where Wolves and Bears Dare”, 2009, colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 people were evacuated from the disaster zone. With humans gone from the countryside, wildlife began to take over the homes of the previous occupants, finally realising the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears!  Taking my own photographs of the Discovery Channel’s documentary ‘Chernobyl: Life in The Dead Zone’, 2007, I drew layers of images from five stills weaving together a wolf, a bear, a kitten and toys of the former occupants into a new interior setting ‘where wolves and bears dare’ to roam.  The title also suggests a link to my favourite war film “Where Eagles Dare” and the war between nature and man.  This piece represents the harmony nature re-encounters without human disruption as well as Nature’s infallibility to human destruction.  Has nature won this war?  Only time will tell, but it appears to be thriving in the most radioactively contaminated area in the world.  With people refused access to live there, other than some 100 or so elderly inhabitants of 11 villages, it is to be hoped this Involuntary Park where rare Lynx along with Brown Bears who had disappeared from the area over 100 years ago and have returned again, is left to flourish.

This drawing took some 3 months to complete, working on a square inch per day as colours are mixed directly on the paper and the complexity of deciding as I draw what should be layered over what to produce a projected, abstract effect makes for painstaking work in its entirety.

Luxury Archival Pigment Prints of ‘TV Screen II – “Where Wolves and Bears Dare!”‘ made by the marvellous Jack Lowe studio are available to order from my website

'TV Screen II - "Where Wolves and Bears Dare", 2009, colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘TV Screen II – “Where Wolves and Bears Dare”, 2009, Archival Pigment Print