A number of pieces (Fleeing Pompeii, Visitor, Fact and Fiction) use a mosaic motif as part of the scenario. The representation of mosaics (invented for the purposes of this drawing) connotes old and lost ways of seeing and experiencing, partly inspired from the art of ancient Greece, partly from ancient Rome, and more specifically, Pompeii. To me, the mosaic references are both beautiful and foreboding, much like my experience of contemporary life and the human condition. We have such intelligence and creative potential, but we also must contend with our own versions of Mount Vesuvius. Today we are faced with a range of looming “volcanoes,” from large-scale terrorism to nuclear threat and environmental collapse. These drawings reflect both the fragile beauty and the angst of the human condition.


In order to create the illusion of mosaics receding from the viewer, I drew a grid of large squares in perspective on scrap paper outside the perimeter of the drawing, and imposed pairs of adjacent circles freehand in this grid. This provided me with the overall framework in which to invent the mosaic pattern. It was an interesting challenge.





Increasingly through the years, disequilibrium in ecosystems has instigated the displacement of specific forms of wildlife to areas not normally inhabited by those creatures. Global warming, forest clearing, wildfires and pollution have destroyed or displaced many species of wildlife. For people who do not consider themselves to be directly impacted, it’s easy to minimize the urgency of this. But the signs are everywhere, and we are all affected. This drawing explores this issue, with a peacock as the harbinger. Since I began this drawing, new equilibriums are being established. As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, decreased traffic on the ground and in the air has lowered pollution levels and encouraged some shifts in wildlife habitats.

All images and texts © Frank Mulvey 2016, except where otherwise credited.

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