All things Green Man & the traditional Jack-in-the-Green

Featured Artist

Fall – Gawain and the Green Knight

‘Fall’. 2016. Pencil and gouache on board. Private Collection. © Clive Hicks-Jenkins

‘Fall’. 2016. Pencil and gouache on board. Private Collection. © Clive Hicks-Jenkins

As Yuletide approaches I always seem to find myself drawn back to the wonderful poem Gawain and the Green Knight. The poem was written by an unknown author in the late 14th Century, but was only rediscovered two hundred years ago and published for the first time in 1839.

The story begins as the court of King Arthur is celebrating the feast of Christmas. The door burst open and the formidable figure of the gigantic green skinned and green haired Knight rides into the great hall clothed all in green on a green horse. He issues a grisly challenge to Arthur and his Knights and asks if anyone amongst them is “bold both of blood and brain”, and will dare strike him one stroke for another, “I will give him as a gift this axe, which is heavy enough, in sooth, to handle as he may list, and I will abide the first blow, unarmed as I sit. If any knight be so bold as to prove my words let him come swiftly to me here, and take this weapon, I quit claim to it, he may keep it as his own, and I will abide his stroke, firm on the floor. Then shalt thou give me the right to deal him another, the respite of a year and a day shall he have. Now haste, and let see whether any here dare say aught.”  Gawain begs Arthur to allow him the honour of taking the challenge and so begins Gawain’s magical quest.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins is devising a series of fourteen prints based on the medieval verse drama, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – vividly translated for the 21st century by Simon Armitage. Clive has very kindly given me permission to reproduce one of the images on our blog each month and the one above seemed perfect for December.

 You can find more information on Clive’s website: http://www.hicks-jenkins.com

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The Green Knight Bows to Gawain’s Blow

‘The Green Knight Bows to Gawain’s Blow’. 2016. Pencil and gouache on board. Private Collection. © Clive Hicks-Jenkins

‘The Green Knight Bows to Gawain’s Blow’. 2016. Pencil and gouache on board. Private Collection. © Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Clive Hicks-Jenkins is devising a series of fourteen prints based on the medieval verse drama, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – a classic vividly translated for the 21st century by Simon Armitage.  Clive has very kindly given me permission to reproduce one of the images on our blog each month.

Clive’s work often features some wonderful representations of the foliate Green Man. If you can track down a copy of Marly Youman’s wonderful book “The Foliate Head” I highly recommend it for Marly’s beautiful poetry and Clive’s wonderful illustrations of The Green Man that appear throughout the book.

 You can find more information on Clive’s website: http://www.hicks-jenkins.com


The Green Man Orchestral Suite

 

Green Man

After a visit to see the Highworth Jack-in-the-Green, Company of The Green Man member Garry Judd was inspired to write an orchestral suite.  About one hundred and eighty years ago, Garry’s Great Great Great Grandad James left Highworth to try his luck in the City Of London. Unfortunately, he soon found out that the streets weren’t paved with gold, but went on to begin the line of North London Judds. Garry had always wanted to see a Jack-in-the-Green parade and so when the opportunity to see the Highworth Jack-in-the-Green came up it was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.

Highworth in Wiltshire celebrated it’s 800th anniversary with a Jack in the Green on 22nd April 2006 and the Jack is now an annual tradition as part of an annual May Market. Jack is accompanied by the wonderful Bang To Rites Drummers.

Garry is a composer who works in film, TV, radio, other media as well as concert music which has been premiered at the Wigmore Hall and featured on BBC Radio 3 and ClassicFM. His music has been played by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Courtney Pine, Leslie Howard, Finn Peters, Guy Pratt, John Etheridge and The London Community Gospel Choir to name but a few. He has written for over 150 film, television, radio and other media productions and is broadcast regularly throughout the world.

The Company of the Green Man has always supported and where possible promoted artists who have been inspired by The Jack-in-the-Green or the Green Man. It’s wonderful to add an orchestral suite to the list of music the traditional Jack-in-the-Green has inspired over the years. Other musicians inspired by the Jack include Jethro Tull who recorded a song called “Jack-in-the-Green” for their 1977 album Songs from the Wood. Jools Holland wrote a track called “Jack O The Green”  with Suggs of Madness after Suggs saw the Jack in the Green at Whitstable. Northamptonshire folk band Empty Pocket included “Jack in the Green” by Paul Rogers in their 1995 album of the same name. Oxford folk band Magpie Lane’s fourth CD, Jack-in-the-Green (1998), includes a song of the same name, written by Martin Graebe.

Garry Judd’s The Green Man is available on iTunes HERE or to listen to for free via Spotify HERE


The Wood Beyond the World – June – The Door of the Year

June - The Door of the Year © Sally Priston

June – The Door of the Year © Sally Priston

Sally Priston’s work is based around nature, folklore and the changing seasons, she works in 2D in watercolour, ink and pencil generally, and also on wood, using pyrography. We are publishing one of her pictures around the first of each month from June 2013 until May 2014. If you would like to get in touch with Sally or would like to purchase any of her art please drop us a line at greenman@virgin.net


The Wood Beyond the World – May – Fertility

May-Fertility © Sally Priston

May-Fertility © Sally Priston

Sally Priston’s work is based around nature, folklore and the changing seasons, she works in 2D in watercolour, ink and pencil generally, and also on wood, using pyrography. We are publishing one of her pictures around the first of each month from June 2013 until May 2014. If you would like to get in touch with Sally or would like to purchase any of her art please drop us a line at greenman@virgin.net


The Wood Beyond the World – April – Opening

April - Opening © Sally Priston

April – Opening © Sally Priston

Sally Priston’s work is based around nature, folklore and the changing seasons, she works in 2D in watercolour, ink and pencil generally, and also on wood, using pyrography. We are publishing one of her pictures around the first of each month from June 2013 until May 2014. If you would like to get in touch with Sally or would like to purchase any of her art please drop us a line at greenman@virgin.net


The Wood Beyond the World – March – Awakening

March - Awakening © Sally Priston

March – Awakening © Sally Priston

Sally Priston’s work is based around nature, folklore and the changing seasons, she works in 2D in watercolour, ink and pencil generally, and also on wood, using pyrography. We are publishing one of her pictures around the first of each month from June 2013 until May 2014. If you would like to get in touch with Sally or would like to purchase any of her art please drop us a line at greenman@virgin.net


Greenman Art

Greenman

Albion James is the Craft name of James William Lilly. He  is an Artist, Photographer and Professional Tarot Reader living in North Carolina. To see more of his work go to: http://albionart.wix.com/albionjames


The Wood Beyond the World – February – Clear Vision

February - Clear Vision © Sally Priston

February – Clear Vision © Sally Priston

Sally Priston’s work is based around nature, folklore and the changing seasons, she works in 2D in watercolour, ink and pencil generally, and also on wood, using pyrography. We are publishing one of her pictures around the first of each month from June 2013 until May 2014. If you would like to get in touch with Sally or would like to purchase any of her art please drop us a line at greenman@virgin.net


The Wood Beyond the World – January – Looking Forward and Back

January - looking Forward and Back © Sally Priston

January – looking Forward and Back © Sally Priston

Happy new year to all our members contributors and readers of this blog.

Sally Priston’s work is based around nature, folklore and the changing seasons, she works in 2D in watercolour, ink and pencil generally, and also on wood, using pyrography. We are publishing one of her pictures around the first of each month from June 2013 until May 2014. If you would like to get in touch with Sally or would like to purchase any of her art please drop us a line at greenman@virgin.net