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Herne the Horned God (the Hunter) -SOLD

Herne the Horned God (the Hunter) -SOLD

By Jim Pilston


Original artwork

Papier-mache and mixed media, paint - all sustainably-sourced

Height: 84cm approx

Width: 38cm approx


Drawing on influences such as passion plays, mummers and medieval carvings, Jim has created this glorious figure, one of two on this theme.


In English folklore, Herne the Hunter is a ghost associated with Windsor  Forest and Great Park in Berkshire. He is said to have antlers growing from his head, to ride a horse, torment cattle and rattle chains. The earliest written account of Herne comes from Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1597), after which he became a popular mythical figure.


The supposed location of Herne's Oak was, for many years, a matter of local speculation and controversy. Some Ordnance Survey maps show Herne's Oak a little to the north of Frogmore House (now famous for its Royal connection) in Home Park, adjoining Windsor Great Park.


Jim was introduced to Herne as a child when he read Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence, where Herne leads the wild hunt and plays a key part in the end of the book by the same name and in the series' ending, Silver on the Tree.


Jim studied theatre design and illustration and worked as an illustrator for many years - and all these roots show through in the animated imagination and clever details and expressions of his figures. 


    After studying Theatre Design and Illustration, Jim worked as an illustrator for many years. Over time, his illustrative work began to emerge as three-dimensional pieces. Using papier-mache and mixed media, he explored folklore and legend – both local and European. 


    Ths style has now developed into a quirky and distinctive  sculptural style, based on narrative and clever characterisation.

    The work he creates is very instinctive: "When starting, I have a vague sense of an intended outcome but I begin working on a piece and just see who emerges. An angel, a devil, god or monster."


    The sources he draws on vary greatly but the stories, pictures, films and children’s television of his 1970s Cotswolds childhood are never far away.


    The materials he uses are, almost entirely, sourced within a mile or two of hs Stroud home. They are found materials that are repurposed and recycled. The paper is from the used paper recycling process, the structures are made from scrap wood and plastics, such as discarded estate agents signs and, in the main, the paints and varnishes are the incorrect mixes and “mis-tints” from paint manufacturers and DIY stores.


    "As an artisan, I get a thrill out of creating something magical, and perhaps sacred, out of materials that can be found in skips and bins up and down the country."

    Jim's work is exhibited regionally and is in numerous private collections.

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