'Merlin'


Art Statement

Merlin is an archetype of the wise old man.  This archetype is seen in many ancient mythological writings such as the Arthurian legends but it also abounds in more modern literature and film.  For example, Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, Dumbledore from Harry Potter as well as the mysterious homeless-looking old man in films who appears to give the hero critical advice at the crisis point of the story and then disappears.  This archetype is present in many mythologies from varied sources in all cultures.  He is timeless and resonates with people today just has he has for hundreds of years.  I designed "Merlin" to have one clear, bright, intelligent eye that seems to look into your soul, and one blind eye.  This eye is turned inwards to the inner realm where his true power resides.  His understanding of the inner nature of man is highly  advanced and he can see things that others who are focused on the material world cannot.  In ancient literature and mythology, the great shamans, wizards or seers were commonly afflicted with a disability, which was the catalyst to turn inward for strength and wisdom.  "Merlin" is a hooded figure as he is often portrayed in mythological sources - a member of a secret order of monks or an advanced esoteric society.  In the drawing, his hood is contemporary.  Because of this ambiguity in his persona, we are not sure whether he is a medieval mystic or a homeless guy on a street corner in our era.  His dreadlocks and tribal beads are both ancient and modern.  He is an enigma.

Fiona Francois