John Ashbourne: Green Man Series

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Artist in Residence, Autumn 2011, Back Issues, Departments

September 9, 2011

The mysterious Green Man has resisted numerous serious, as well as more fanciful, attempts to satisfactorily explain its presence and meaning, but for Mono artist John Ashbourne, it symbolizes the relationship between “Man and Nature.”

The Knowledge of Autumn, pastel ~ John Ashbourne

Despite its seemingly pagan symbolism, the image of a human face (usually male) emerging from leaves and branches was a theme widely used by stone masons in their architectural ornamentation of Christian churches from the 11th to the 16th centuries, and again during a revival in the 19th century. The mysterious Green Man has resisted numerous serious, as well as more fanciful, attempts to satisfactorily explain its presence and meaning, but for Mono artist John Ashbourne, it symbolizes the relationship between “Man and Nature,” a theme he finds particularly relevant at the dawn of the current century. The British-born artist, 73, is a former corporate executive who, on retirement, finally took up his youthful ambitions to create art, beginning with a year-long apprenticeship with a sculptor. He has also been a practising falconer for 20 years.

See his paintings, wood sculpture, photography and other Green Men, at johnashbourne.com

Signe Ball is publisher/editor of In The Hills.

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