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Herne the Hunter


Herne the Hunter is a ghost who haunts Windsor Forest. He is said to have antlers, ride a horse and torment people and livestock. It is rumoured that a sighting of Herne foreshadows a national disaster. In pagan rites, participants often wear masks or costumes so that they may assume the character of a god or spirit. As an homage to this practice, I created a sculpture that combined a stag’s skull with plaster casts made from my own hands. These were suspended to create the spectral form of Herne which I painted from life in my studio.

The painting is an illusion, as it employs trompe l'oeil techniques to make the objects hover off the surface. This trick of the eye allows the spectral form of Herne to project beyond the picture plane much like a magician or sorcerer might conjure a spirit from an otherworldly plane.

Oil on Linen
76cm x 101cm
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© Kieran Ingram 2018