Rowan Corkills work is created from a deep ethnological fascination with various cultural religious and occult beliefs, many of which are founded on a cross pollination of reality and fantasy.
The artist uses his practice as a means to explore and examine the endless distortions of reality which the human mind has transformed into fantastical mythologies and ideologies. The similar role of the artist as creator is also questioned with particular interest in how the use of fiction can be used as a tool to acknowledge and question our presence on the planet.
Esotericism & Alchemy have played a significant role in the artist’s current practice, with particular interest in the Great works or philosopher stone. Incorporated stages of this secret process as starting points for his own work, the artist has re-interpreting each stage with his own ideas which often stem from various religious beliefs and cultural folklore Within each stage a huge variety of influences and inspirations shape the creative process. Youth subcultures, African art & Voodoo, Occult worship and secret initiations, Catholic art and medieval history are but a few of the ever expanding interests which shape the artists world. These influences merge together to produce works which are both strangely familiar and completely unknown.
Rowan Corkills work features many strange and bizarre materials collected from human animal and plant life, most of which are imbued with strong symbolic references and meanings. These symbolisms are often created out of superstitious and fictitious beliefs which elevate the objects and materials beyond the ‘norms’ of the everyday. Yet the creations of these beliefs are firmly rooted in realism as the core of all things.
The Artist works within varying artistic fields including sculpture drawings performance photography sound and taxidermy.
In his series ‘Portrait of a Species’ Rowan Corkill presents a collection of dead animals, as if he just came from a hunt and proudly presents them to the viewer. All of them are self portraits of Corkill, with a blank stare and an animal in his mouth.
With this project, he places mankind as a dominant predator far beyond food chains, and questions various aspects of our existence and position on the planet: the distancing we have created from other species, the loss of natural instincts and senses, as well as our disconnection from nature and natural cycles. Apart from the canary, all of the animals used in the images were found at the sides of roads around the countryside where the artist lived. All of these animals have died as a result of man-kinds continuous effect on the planet.
Portrait of a Species…