The idea for this image clearly has its origins in China Mielville’s steampunk masterpiece, Perdido Street Station.
In my imagining, an urban density of neon-lit blocks and dwellings, surmounted by a tall temple’s spire, has risen beneath the gigantic fossilised skeleton of an ancient beast.
So this image does not truly depict Mielville’s vast diverse metropolis, New Crobuzon. where the Ribs jut over Bonetown, a makeshift market of temporary stalls, with scanty brick buildings and abandoned lots edging dirty scrubland. Tools break and cement remains fluid. A baleful influence from the gigantic half-exhumed bones limits development on the gravesite.
This piece started as an A1 size memory of the fallen tree in backlit woodland, drawn in chalk pastel, washed and blotted. Seeking to further disintegrate it, it was wetted and covered in inks and white gouache. Weeks later, I drew the Ribs into the dried-dark image in oil pastel and painted onto this resist with diluted white acrylic. This still exists in that form, awaiting further work. I took a digital image and explored future directions of travel on the iPad in ArtRage.