Project Altar Redux



Further to my previous post, I’ve decided to make this book available for free as a PDF download. It collects together all the artwork from 2010-11 that was inspired by the Boris/Sunn0))) musical collaboration Altar. All of the paintings I made have sold, which makes it my most successful project ever. Here’s a sample of the contents:


Trying to flog printed copies seems redundant in the age of the ‘digital ninja’ so get your free PDF copy here. (33MB)

The Withnail & I Drawings

Withnal book art

I’ve self-published a one-off copy of a booklet which brings together all my drawings of the main characters from my favourite film, Withnail & I. Behind a textured paper cover you get a brief essay by myself and quotes from the film, together with reproductions of the drawings:

Marwood - Rik Rawling 2015.Marwood

Uncle Monty - Rik Rawling 2015Uncle Monty

Danny the Dealer - Rik Rawling 2012Danny the Dealer

Withnail - Rik Rawling 2015Withnail

This single-edition booklet is available, together with the 3 remaining original drawings (Danny the Dealer is long lost) to anyone out there why wants to put a few £ in my PayPal account. I’m not setting a price, but would at least expect to cover postage costs. First come, first serve. Email me if you’re interested.

Alternatively, you can download a PDF copy of the booklet here.

George Shaw: May Back To Nature preview

George Shaw - My Back To Nature catalogue cover

My favourite artist George Shaw has a new exhibition opening 9 May. ‘My Back To Nature‘ comprises most of the work produced during his 2-year tenure as Associate Artist in residence at the National Gallery in London. The brief was simple – produce work inspired by the existing collection, to which George has often had exclusive access, wandering the rooms and corridors early in the morning before the hordes turn up, soaking up centuries of high art influence and flushing it through his own ideas about art and culture, hope and despair, life and death. From what I’ve seen so far, the results are some of his best work for a long time.

George Shaw - The Living and The DeadGeorge Shaw - The Foot Of A TreeGeorge Shaw - The School Of LoveGeorge Shaw - The Old Master

The images he’s created are some of his darkest – predominantly woodland scenes focussing on weird twisted stumps and logs that recall Paul Nash’s ‘monsters’, as well as traces of human detritus that, removed from their original context, assume a ritualistic element. A tarpaulin sheet draped over a branch is the revenant spirit from M.R. James’ ‘Oh Whistle And I’ll Come To You, My Lad‘. A fly-tipped mattress is a makeshift sacrificial altar for worship to Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan. He admits you can reduce the whole project down to ‘sex and death’, long-understood by any artist that matters to be the only real themes we need. Some of the paintings look like crime scenes, others suggest suburban re-enactments of Golgotha, and as a contrast to all this Thanatos we get Eros in the form of porn mags strewn through the undergrowth. George has discussed before the profound experience of finding these things as a teenager, in his mind conflating the images from a shredded copy of Mayfair with the high art titillation of Titian and Poussin that he saw on his milk train trips to the National Gallery.

George Shaw - SouvenirsGeorge Shaw - Natural Selection

George has clearly risen to the challenge presented by the National Gallery, producing a huge amount of individual images that have to be considered as a single work. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into this and what is for the most part gloomy paintings of old trees suggests a deep meditation on the things that really matter to him.

One of the images from the collection that really struck me is this ink drawing ‘Study For Hanging Around’:

George Shaw - Study For Hanging Around

I could not help but see echoes in this of my own painting from last year, ‘The Passion’:

Rik Rawling - The Passion

which only confirms to me – once and for all – that I’m never going to get away from the influence his work has had on me, so I might as well just accept it and make the most of what I can do with that influence.

George Shaw – My Back To Nature – is at the National Gallery, 11 May – 30 Oct 2016

Exhibition Catalogue can be ordered here.

George Shaw interviewed for BBC Radio4 here (start at 19 minutes in)

Shadows In Eden

Shadows In Eden

A new painting. The scene depicted is a strip of woodland on a hillside at Freshwater East in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. It’s one of my favourite places on Earth and every time I go there I feel a resurgence of everything that really inspires my imagination. Then you come back home, drag your weary soul back into the office job and within 48 hours it’s all gone again. I should move there but, alas, ‘reality’ won’t allow that to happen just yet. One day though…

The Lost Girls

The Lost Girls

This is a booklet I’ve self-published in an edition of 2 copies only. It features several of my drawings from 2010-15, collected in a single thematically-coherent volume. One copy is already claimed, so I’m offering the last remaining copy to anyone out there who wants it. Email me your address and I’ll send it, together with one of my original A4 ink drawings.

UPDATE – the last remaining copy and free artwork has now been claimed.

Death Is The Road To Awe

Death Is The Road To Awe

Further to this previous post, here’s the finished painting. The title come from the epic final track on the soundtrack to Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, which was playing as I was putting the finishing touches to the canvas. It’s now for sale and I’m open to offers.

Clint Mansell/Kronos Quartet/Mogwai – Death Is The Road To Awe

Work In Progress

Work in progress pencils 2 Feb 2016

A new painting is in progress. Above is where it was at 3 weeks ago. Below is where I’d got to by last Saturday morning.

SL 20 Feb 2016

It’s now almost finished. Give me until Sunday evening and it will be done and ready for sale.


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