TALES Merchants, Fruit vendors, grocers
TALES OF THE MARVELLOUS AND NEWS OF THE STRANGE CLASSES ‘Aja’ib wa-Ghara’ib
- Starts 1 MayStarts 1 May
- 349 British pounds£349
Here are the merchants in the flea market and the spice market: the sellers of goods, textiles, fresh fruit and a watermelon exchange. A man drinking from a waterskin and a monkey stealing a basket. All kinds of food makers show their skills here too; bakers, millers and also laden mules. Greengrocers and weighers valuing produce such as pineapples and pomegranates. All the buzz of the bazaar. The Levni and Vehbi-inspired fictional Procession of the Guilds continues the TALES masterclass series of characterless characters, our band of everyman figures with a tale to tell and a profession, an occupation or a vice (!) to emblazon on their little bodies which hold big stories. Borne from a desire to present a truly comprehensive picture of all miniature painting, and emerging from my latest ongoing research into the world of the 1001 Arabian Nights, these classes are like a cabinet of curiosities for miniature painting. The TALES classes comprise 3 strands: Objects and Ingenious Devices, Natural Marvels and Wonders and Characterless Characters. If, like me, you find stories and marvels irresistible, join me in painting a collection of marvels, wonders, everyday objects, theatrical devices, mechanical ingenuity, strangenesses and curios… in short, THINGS that are in stories and paintings and that are not easily defined as animal, vegetable or mineral. Cooking pots, cups and jugs; tables, takhts and thrones. From flags and bows and arrows and a multitude of tools to clever clocks, musical instruments and astrolabes, we cover them all. Humans have found wonder in the tiniest fleas and the wide open seas and the far flung stars (and now we’re going to Mars). These things are the stuff of stories, the razm o bazm (fight and feast) of the Shahnameh and the magic everyday fabric that is the stock in trade of the Nights. The other stock in trade of the Nights is of course the people that populate them. Moving from faces to FIGURES: the stock characters, or ‘characterless characters’ as I describe them, are just that: 2D characters that represent an occupation or trade. Gossip and the guilds. People’s jobs define their surnames. The most beautiful of princesses, the basest of slaves. The vilest, the meanest, the cruellest; the most generous, the most princely and the most magnanimous. The most judging of judges and kingliest of kings. The Sailoriest of Sailors and the Merchantiest of Merchants. All clichés are here...