This collection of work is based around 3,500 to 6,000-year-old petroglyphs found all over the UK, mythical archetypes and contemporary design.
These images have taken me nearly three years to create, together with a lifetime of seeking- visiting prehistoric sites and examining my deep inner thoughts.
For this series of work, I painted in layers, using vibrant inks, designer gouache paints, pens and pencil crayon. Each piece of artwork that I create weaves ancient Petroglyphs with stories or mythical archetypes that are to be interpreted by the viewer. Even though I have written a narrative for each painting, I am constantly amazed by the stories and the feelings that these images have evoked in others. Engaging with people via social media from all over the world as ‘Ancestors Awakening' unfolded, the progress was documented via photography and the written word.
I have already sold many fine art prints of the ‘Ancestors Awakening’ collection to people from Albion (England) and to those in countries all over the planet. I love it when I get feedback. It is my intention that these images engage people in interpreting mythical journeys and ancient symbolism, revealing hidden messages carved in stone by our ancestors, which I consider are still accessible deep within our subconscious minds.
I have been inspired by these archetypes to reintroduce our ancient petroglyphs with a visual narrative for the viewer to translate; to re-imagine these ancient symbols decorated with colourful dots in a way that may well have been visible like this many thousands of years ago all over our planet. Today we see fragments in archaeological finds that tell us there was a rich culture of indigenous tribal and Shamanic magic which is still to be rediscovered. It is my firm faith, via seeking, that our magical identity and the old ways of being creators are returning.
I have had an interest in prehistoric monuments and archaeology since I was a child. Visiting hundreds of sites over the last 15 years or so, my feeling is that such monuments were created to last thousands of years, for a good reason. When studying the ancient symbolism on megalithic stones, chambers and rock formations, it struck me that these symbols seemed to resonate deep within my ancestral memory. Lots of the symbols in this artwork are inspired by two to five-thousand-year-old rock carvings, some even older.
At present, there are only patches of these symbols across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. However, thousands of years ago, the countryside would have been covered in such images and I think it may have been like a language to our ancestors. As a result, this was my first image in the development of ‘Ancestors Awakening’, inspired by ancient symbolism and the magical landscape that surrounds our ancestral heritage. I imagined the language and symbolism during the time Stonehenge was built transcended many planes of reality.
I have visited Stonehenge on four winter solstices. Up close they emit a fantastic energy and the stones are much larger than they seem when seeing them from behind the fence. I feel an affinity with the place, especially when visiting during the solstice, as being amongst the stones with so many magical people is epic. Many people visit Stonehenge at this time from all over the planet.
One day when painting this image, I listened to a film on DNA and about how the industrial system cultivates humanity like the worker bees. It influenced me to put stylised DNA strands within the painting. It’s fascinating when you create such an image with intent that so much falls into place. I even got some pure honey in the honeycomb to eat before creating the image just like a method artist. I also think ancient people would have put colour around their carved rock designs, using natural pigments and dyes from nature with sticks- much like the Aboriginal Australian artworks of Dreamtime, which indigenous people paint with their ancient symbolism and colourful dots.
Whilst away in Cornwall a few months before starting the ‘Shamanic Bee’ painting, I did some dowsing around ‘The Merry Maidens’, a well-known ancient megalithic stone circle. Acting like a kid, I set my intent to dowse for treasure and the rods took me on a direction through the stone circle to the edge of the field, to rest on a blackberry bush with a bee on the flowers. Consequently, I set my intent again to search for treasure and was directed to the corner of the field to a thistle with about five honey bees buzzing around it. It was then I came to the conclusion that the bee was the treasure. Following this I decided to create a painting of a honey bee with our ancient ancestral symbolism, therefore transmuting the dowsing into ‘Art’ treasure. To add to the synchronicity of the artwork, I found out that there is such a practice as ‘Bee Shamanism’- something I had never heard of before starting this piece of artwork. It turns out that it is one of the most ancient and enigmatic branches of Shamanism and still practised today.
“It exists throughout the world--wherever in fact the honeybee exists. Its medicinal tools- such as honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly- are now in common usage, and even the origins of Chinese acupuncture can be traced back to the ancient practice of applying bee stings to the body’s meridians.” - The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton.
Bees are amazing. In 'The Shamanic Way of the Bee’, the author writes of magical Beekeepers who paint petroglyph symbols on their Beehives, and states that the way of looking after bees has been very shamanic throughout history. Honey bees organise themselves into many different roles in the hive. They even fly up to 15 miles a day to gather nectar and in this fertilise much of nature.
It has to be acknowledged that the Bee is a very important part of our ecosystem. The flow of life and our connection with it is magical. During the time of creating 'Shamanic Bee', I also went to a shamanic drumming session with 'Way of the Buzzard' to imbue energy into the painting and synchronicity happened when I found out the meeting was about Shamanic Animism.
Animism is the attribution of a living soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena and there is also the belief in a supernatural power that organises and animates the material universe. So it is seemingly possible and shamanic to imbue a painting with magic.
Dragonflies are beautiful creatures that have a magical transformation after two years as water nymphs (larvae). During its life, the nymph catches and eats small live prey at every opportunity, moulting between five and fourteen times until it is fully-grown. The most fascinating thing is that if a dragonfly nymph loses a limb during the times between moulting, the limb grows back perfectly in their next cycle of being.
For this painting, I envisioned a constellation of ancestral petroglyphs as a dreamscape around the dragonfly that is perched upon a piece of 400,000-year-old Emmer Wheat. Emmer wheat is one of our ancient grains and as of yet is not compromised by genetic manipulation as has been many other species of wheat that are commonly used in bread.
I would imagine after living in the water for two years or more, the Dragonfly would be darting about the sky for its next four days of life. Would it seem like a spiritual experience to this creature when the things it sees are magical and surreal? I do feel this painting should have a story, but maybe you as the viewer could write this one.
I visited the Uffington White Horse in the Easter of 2018; it is a magical place which cannot be seen fully from the land, only from the air. Consequently, I have used the photos and what I viewed when visiting, to formulate patterns within the design.
The Uffington White Horse is a highly-stylised prehistoric hill figure, 110 m (360 ft) long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. Nearby, across Dragon Road, is Dragon Hill. Sitting within the shadow of White Horse Hill is a beautifully-sculpted landscape of deep amphitheatres where you may imagine thousands of tribes meeting in ancient times.
Just above the dragon (horse) is Uffington Castle, which is an early Iron Age unevaluated hill fort, possibly once a village or a sacred place for standing stones. It is massive and could possibly have held three hundred or more tribespeople in a fenced-off enclosure.
3,000 years ago, I imagine this landscape was a place where legends were forged, where rituals were frequent and life was epic. You can literally feel the power surging through the land. I think this chalked image may well be one of Albion’s oldest large sigils within the landscape.
Dragons are linked with the fertility of the land and a good harvest. Druids and the Celts conjured up dragons to imbue places with great power and lay track to energetic lines. In China, ‘Ley (also known as Ley lines) are called Dragon Lines.
Where dragons dwelt, mystic energy flowed with sanctity and mystical harmony within the tribes of Albion. Whilst painting this image my dreams were vivid, of large tribal gatherings and the petroglyphs present resonated even deeper as a language or a code from our ancestors.
I feel that the language within these petroglyphs is a resonant language that speaks to us, one by one, when we visit certain places. I visited the Badger Stone on Ilkley Moor during the day and night to witness the magic of the stone and how the petroglyphs appear and disappear in different light. It just so happened that the visit was on a full moon and the painting was finished by the next full moon- 2nd January 2018. Coincidentally, the moon rose exactly in the place I had painted it, three days before the visit.
There is a myriad of symbolism and stories within this painting that you may already see, from Cernunnos to Elen of the Ways, the microbiome, Mycelium, the magic of the Birch Tree, ancient symbols, the number 3 and the Circle of Life and many more.
You decide what you see then tell me. It will be interesting if you are able to make this journey your myth and legend.
The whole of the “Ancestors Awakening” body of work is based around 3,500 to 6,000-year-old petroglyphs found all over the UK, mythical archetypes and contemporary design.
Within this painting I see the symbolism of our ancestors within a cave for thousands of years, to be awoken and bring their knowledge and magic forth, within our DNA and consciousness.
I think when creating this painting it was the first time I clearly recognised that stark petroglyph symbols to one side, looked like a language or mathematical symbolism.
As I continue to create art with these symbols, my rate of learning and ability to solve problems increased many folds. I am sure this is not just my imagination these symbols have survived many thousands of year within Albion, for good reason.
Around the 18th century, this symbol comprised of three lines, similar to /|\, drawn to represent a sigil or symbol for The British Druid Order.
The Awen represents creative thinking artistic endeavour born from the arts of being and the flowing spirit.
A very powerful symbol, the word ‘Awen’ was first recorded in writing around the 9th or 10th Century, but by word of mouth for much longer.
I do not know the date it happened, but today’s Welsh druids added three dots to the three lines, to represent the inspirational drops that came from the boiling cauldron onto the hand of Gwion Bach. Licking his hand to relieve the pain and chased by the Goddess Ceridwen, this led to a series of events that caused him to change shape into animals, with his eventual rebirth as the poet Taliesin.
The Awen is said to be the personification of the inspirational muse in creative artists in the inspired individual. The more I look into this symbol, the more I see a correlation with quantum physics, consciousness, the subconscious, the trinity or power of three; the threads that connect us all together and the power within humanity to be creative.
This symbol to me is very important and resonates deeply. With the ancient petroglyphs and folk legends, it adds up to transformation and a very magical story- as applicable today as it was 2,000 to 5,000 years ago. We are entering a time of enlightenment from an illusion of servitude to a few. Let us trust we make it happen.
There is a lot of information regarding the Awen, mostly as ancient spoken folklore. Also written in The Mabinogion is a collection of Welsh stories, mostly mythology and folklore, including the earliest Arthurian myths.
Ceridwen is regarded today by many modern Pagans as the Celtic goddess of rebirth and transformation..
At the time I completed this image, the new moon was in motion and planets lined up like this many thousands of years ago.
The Triskele's earliest creation is noted to dates back to the Neolithic era, and it can be seen at the entrance of Newgrange in Ireland. We had just come back from visiting The Uffington White Horse and I felt inspired to paint my version of the White Horse, envisioning it as a dragon, combining the trinity of the spirals and the ancient petroglyphs from Albion.
Part of this image was painted whilst at Preston New Road Anti- Fracking site in the poly-tunnel of Maple farm nursery. It was getting late and the air was damp, so the paper and paint cracked a bit. But I think it maybe adds to the rough impact within the design.
There is a long list of interpretations for the Triskele, however I will only mention that the number 3 is a sacred number and at the time this was first created the elements were Earth Air and Water. So much more is attributed to this very magical symbol and it’s a symbol found carved in a rock at Newgrange, especially when you take into the equation the myths and legends of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
This image is a response to the Mexican 'Day of the Dead' and to customs all over the world that celebrate their ancestors when sending loved ancestors off to their next journey with a celebration of their life. In the UK death is a taboo and not talked about.
This painting is an attempt to reignite the forgotten ancient culture of Albion (England). The symbols in the background are from rock art (petroglyphs) three to seven thousand years old and some much older.
I painted dots within the original image as to illustrated early creativity, using sticks and organic natural colour to decorate and create. The Aborigine people of Australia use brightly painted dots and indigenous symbolism within their Dreamtime paintings and rock art. So even though this painting is a homage to different cultures, the symbolism and archetype of death and rebirth are indigenes to these lands.
I personally think that in Albion we had similar cultural and shamanic reverence for the dead and our ancestral knowledge was often passed down verbally.
This is the ninth image in the series, with 9 being a significant number. Whilst creating this image, I was listening to alternative historical theory and audio presentations by Carl Young. Often what I listen to influences what I put within the image. I do not sketch or plan a painting in a sketchbook, but rather I create it in my mind and add to it as it evolves. I had also been listening to Joseph Campbell and his philosophy on myth, Thoth’s Emerald tablets, as well as other work relating to DNA and mythical ancestral history.
I painted the symbolism in the sky after many visits to Thornborough Henges. Once in the top wooded henge, I could almost feel the presence of another dimension. Not on the ground but high in the trees. The top henge is the best-preserved as not many visit it due to the protection of the trees now growing there. At the time the henges were built, they would have been high with deep ditches. Thornborough is particularly interesting as it corresponds to the layout of the pyramids of Giza and the layout of Orion’s belt in the sky.
In Celtic mythology, the Irish Goddess, The Morrigan, and her sisters are fascinating. The Morrigan is a safeguard to our real identity, life and the protection of the land and water. The Morrigan is said to awaken as a warrior to protect the innocent, the land and water, with the ability to shapeshift into a crow and be a formidable warrior.
In Greek mythology, the god of war, Aries, clouded the hearts and minds of mankind with greed, jealousy, violence, the need to subjugate and an all-consuming wish to end life. But luckily we also have myths and goddesses such as Morrigan, who is an honourable warrior and shapeshifter. In Norse Mythology the Valkyrie is an antidote to war and a symbolic echo of the old ways, which are to protect the land and future generations.
In treating each painting as a journey, the symbolism I use within the paintings seems to appear and flow naturally without sketching. I feel it is created by drawing up imagery from my subconscious. The only plan for this painting was to have two crows. The burial mound in the distance appeared along with the standing stones. At one point all the stones I painted had symbolism on, but then as the work progressed were covered over in layers of paint. I feel this is similar to how undocumented political and religious agenda can drive true history to hide in the past.
In ‘Stones and Crows’ and many other of the paintings in this collection, there are symbols from nature which include DNA and ancient Petroglyphs from Albion (England). The magical spirals symbolize ascending or descending life and rebirth. The ancient Celts used the spiral within their artwork as they knew about magic, symbolism and the power of pattern.
Each one of my paintings is created in layers, using inks and designer gouache, to illustrate the hidden and the visible within the depth of myth and legend. Occasionally some of the detail is lost- a bit like history- but it’s still there.
The mythology of this painting is set at 3 am in November. In it, there are nine standing stones connected to the mound which is a chamber for rites of passage and connection to the earth. One crow is the observer of the story that unfolds, whilst the other crow circling relays the vision of transformation.
I won’t say more about this image as I hope the viewer will feel inspired to create their own interpretation of this journey.
Through the work of psychologist Carl Young and the philosophy of Joseph Campbell, I have thought much on the subject of archetypes, ‘rites of passage’ and the ‘Hero’s Journey’.
I feel that today many people in Albion have lost connection and cultural knowledge about their rites of passage but still seek the hero’s journey, even if subconsciously. This is easily disrupted by watching lots of TV, by adoration of film stars and sports stars and by consumerism, to name a few factors.
With this painting and all the paintings within the ‘Ancestors Awakening’ collection, my intent is to recreate a connection to ancient ways and ancestral memory in the trust that it may be part of an antidote to apathy and Stockholm Syndrome. Sadly, today it seems that there are many systems, corporations and control systems taking advantage of communities or individuals, profiting the few.
This image was initially developed and inspired by The Algerian Tassili mushroom cave painting from 6,000-9,000 BC. The image stands 8 feet tall in a cave. However it was not until I had it drawn and initially painted it, did I realise it would not fit into the mythology and archetypes from Albion, so I changed the image into a man wearing a stag headdress, many of which were found by archaeologist at Star Carr, Yorkshire and date to around 9000 BC. This along with the Fly Agaric, Liberty Caps, Wavy Cap mushrooms and petroglyphs transforms my painting into a Shaman from Albion.
A shaman is often an individual who has access to other spiritual realms. He or she works with the spirits there to gain insight into problems, bring back wisdom for the benefit of the tribe, to transmute disease and negative energy. Many shamans also have the ability to shapeshift and divine the future.
The Shaman who journeys from one world to another with intuition, symbolism, dance, drums, psychedelics and conscious thought, and brings this knowledge to manifest within the reality we are within now. According to mainstream academics, the word "Shaman" is thought to have originated from North Asia, Siberia or the Arctic Sami people. The interpretation of a ‘Shaman was introduced after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552.
However, it is my belief or knowing via research that Shamanism was once a worldwide phenomenon of direct spiritual revelation and awakening to the self as a healer, magician, artist, philosopher, teacher or a whole host of attributes to evolve and help others.
The Shaman could also resonate with what we understand as Witches, Druids, Wise ones, Hedge walkers, The Tuatha Dé Danann and I reckon so many more magical beings and tribal archetypes.
With this painting I personally reclaim the Shamanic path, as a practice of how I live my life, to seek wisdom and to escape from the prescribed mundane script that has been fed to me and many since birth.
I think we are living in a time of transformation and revelation, with many seeing through the illusion of democracy and free will. There are many consciously reclaiming their path and their own identity. Shamanic practice and Paganism are growing fast because neither is prescribed religions, but they are both paths of direct revelation...
This mythical image was painted with intent to evoking wild within us all. Based on the story of the last wolf in Albion (England), it is said that all wolves were hunted until the last She-Wolf was brutally killed at Humphrey Head, Cumbria in 1390.
To me, the Wolf is clearly a symbol of the Wild Side of Natural Beings, Family, Tribe, Balance, The Ability to Adapt. Honour, Loyalty, Spirit, Intuition, Intelligence, Independence, Compassionate, love, and Survival. These are just a few of the wolf’s attributes.
The painting aims to acknowledge the wolf and its importance with the balance of nature and the attempted taming of humanity after thousands of years of just a few rich bloodlines controlling and dominating the many.
I personally believe people are connecting to nature, the wild and each other as political systems of control becomes more oppressive and tries to divide us with their dysfunctional agendas and policies.
Many are clearly awakening to their power within and asking why we have become so tame!
I was born over 3000 years ago; I have witnessed the history, the land and life of many ebbs and flows, with every beat of my heart. The seasons come and go and as beings of magic, women, men and creatures grow in wisdom. Also in natural time, the wise trees, mycelium microbiome and plant life evolve their imagination, connectivity, communication and being with the heartbeat of the planet.
When I was young, with a family of my own, the Earth was known to many as Eden- a place where food, magic and abundance all blossomed. This was until the time of religions and the consumerism greed of the few removed the power of the many and exploited the land and later the minerals and lifeblood of the planet.
Regarding Glastonbury Tor; from the time when I was young, there stood a powerful stone circle on the sacred mound. But sadly the magical megaliths were torn down when religions crept into the hearts and minds of people and the landscape was transformed. They even tried to build a church on the Tor, however the gods of nature saw it as a desecration of sacred land, so today only the tower remains.
Even though I have travelled this land of Albion from one coast to another, Glastonbury has always been my home and a magical place. Glastonbury is also where the resonance of the earth's heartbeat is strongest. Way back in time it fed those that visited, maintaining a healthy flow of love and sovereignty.
I will not and cannot die, as I am one of many witnesses across this planet, guarding and awaiting the warriors to awaken. They shall be activated when the third call of Finn Mac Cool rings out across the nation of Albion and the whole world.
Presently it is the year 2019 and many warriors are remembering who they are, leaving the cave and spiralling up to their higher selves. Many are no longer trapped by the illusions of religion, or in servitude to the few who rule the planet. My friends are the crows, buzzards and some humans, which helps make life interesting.
The important task of being a witness can be explained by those who know of quantum physics, as they know the task of an observer.
Many humans have visited me over the last 3,000 years to enlighten me with what they have witnessed and the actions they have done; some of them you may know. Sadly those who write down history have changed who these people are, to enable a dark agenda. However, their deeds at the time of their life still ripple into the present and your future and are visible between the lies and illusions.
My mission as an ancient wise owl with the keys to ancestral memory is to be an observer, to help the created ripples that nudge you when the time is right to remember who and what you are.
This memory can emerge faster when you seek. Take your first step on your own path and abandon the path scripted for you by authority or the hands of darkness. You can look deep within, whilst helping your brothers and sisters. This will help your heart intelligence grow and you will become formidable.
We are now living in a time that is not scripted because it's up to you to evolve, transmute and become active, so be ready. Do you listen to the call and become active? Or do you remain asleep and miss your true potential?
I am just the observer, so it is your decision and Free Will to do as you choose.
There are many legends that I have witnessed, however for now within this painting, it is the Tor, petroglyphs, sigils and runes which are all languages that resonate with humankind from within.
Odin was shown the runes within the branches of a tree because every tree knows the magic on the planet that they hold onto. It was a gift from them to him, to ripple magic through natural time.
This is the twelfth original image within the ‘Ancestors Awakening’ exhibition, finished the night before taking the collection to the framers. The prehistoric symbolism and liminal vision of this ancient monument within the painting represent ancient time and the present merging.
It seems clear to me that our ancient ancestors were very advanced; shamanic, magical and naturally intelligent, with a strong connection to the elements of land, air, fire and water, I imagine, in a way that would have balanced them.
Today, many in society seem to have experienced divorce from nature and no longer live within natural time, having abandoned intuition, instinct and the ability to read symbols.
These paintings evolved without sketches or planning, first an idea, then a sense of place and a journey often starts me off. I do a lot of painting in silence and sometimes listen to audio talks and philosophy via YouTube. It may seem strange, but it is as if these paintings come from deep within, to make them visible to an audience, whom I trust may feel inspired to interpret the images with their own perspectives or feelings. There are within these paintings themes, journeys and archetypes which set a scene within each image. However, the aim is to nurture a myth, a legend and a visual narrative or story within the viewer.
‘Betwixt and Between’ is a liminal view of Stonehenge at present and the day the stones arrived on site in Wiltshire. Nearby, a tribe of craftspeople or artisans (not in the image) are sat around the fire at three o’clock in the morning, contemplating the future and the reason for building this megalithic structure. Their fire illuminates part of the henge as the daylight is arriving.
The badger is often the archetype of the hermit; its presence is to witness the cultivation and harvest of medicine from the earth that this megalithic creation will bring forth.
There is much more to this painting, but I encourage you as the viewer to discover the story from within.