Narrative In Art

A Cluster of Interesting Thinking

Josephine Wall

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Josephine Wall is an English fantasy artist and sculptor. Born in Farnham, Surrey, England in 1947, as a child she was always drawn to color, light, fantasy, and visual storytelling.  Wall was influenced by Arthur Rackam illustrative ability, the surrealism of artists Magritte and Dali, along with the Pre-Raphaelites romanticism.  She went to Farnham grammar school until her family Poole, Dorset when she was 14.  There she studied at Parkstone (Dorset) grammar school, she then went on to study at Bournemouth College.  Her first job as an artist was in 1967 at Poole Pottery as a designer and painter. 

She created dynamic and boldly colored designs of the famous Delphis ware that featured animals, butterflies, and flowers.   Along with creating figures of animals, mythological, creatures, and characters from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

Celebrated for her fantasy work her art is often referred to as the “art of the imagination” her art is filled with color, imagination, and hidden detail filled throughout her work.  Josephine’s favorite subjects to paint include fairies, castles, children, butterflies, magicians, and mythical creatures.  These elements show up in her work time and time again captivating the viewer to her work. Her fist solo exhibition was held in Swindon in 1975.  After that she brought up three children and two stepdaughters after marring her husband Bob while raising her children she still held exhibitions locally and abroad.  Her second solo exhibition was held at the Mayfield Gallery in Bournemouth in 1990, a year later she has her third exhibition.  In 1993 Josephine signed contracts in order to publish her work in framed prints so they could be distributed worldwide.  She signed a licensing agreement with the Art Impressionist in LA, this lead to many new outlets for her work like: producing cards, journals, puzzles, and stationary ECT.  Five of Wall original works were selected for an exhibition at London’s prestigious Mall Gallery titled “Art of the Imagination” in 1998.  In 2005 an exhibition was held at the New York Art Expo where her fist book was released “The Fantasy World of Josephine Wall.”  According to Wall some of the images in the book were never before published and not all her work was included in the book.

A painting of Enchanted Manor by Josephine Wall

“The Enchanted Manor” is a B&B based on Josephine’s fantasy art and décor style.   Soon after she met Dr. Pat Sager, in Pennsylvania who was willing to promote her work in the U.S. and worldwide, along with creating a website for all Josephine’s products.  Josephine now lives in Wisteria Cottage with her husband where she works in her attic studio.  The attic has a pyramid style roof, which is a source of inspiration to Josephine built specifically for the purpose of her studio.  The rest of the cottage also gives her inspiration as well she has beautiful gardens as well as being close to the sea and astonishing forests and hills in every direction.  She loves being in the nature of her cottage her inspiration for the mythical creature she creates comes from the close inspection of nature and how she wants to preserve it.  She hopes she is able to inspire others in a personal journey into the enchanting world of their own imagination.  It seems that life as a painter was truly Wall’s calling in life.

While painting her work Wall uses acrylic to give texture to her paintings along with the fact that acrylic dries faster and allows her to work quicker.  Her painting take her anywhere from 2-4 weeks to complete depending on the subject and size.  Josephine says that there is never enough time in the day to paint all the images in her head.  By using mythology in her work Wall is able to dig deeper into symbolism and stories of her work creating not only beautiful pieces of work but also, meaningful ones.  That stimulates the audiences’ imagination and creativity.

The Storyteller

Acrylic on Masonite, 1993 (20×20)

“As the night falls, the Navajo storyteller enthralls her audience of awed youngsters with tales that have been passed down through the generations.  The riches of earth give her the power to tell of wonders of the heavens.  She conjures up the images of the spirits, the animal guardians, the spider woman who wove the stars and, in a cloud of snow-white feathers, adorned with turquoise, a moon maiden- the most beautiful of women. “


Bridge of Hope

Acrylic on Canvas, 1996 (24×30)

“Sometimes following a period of intense and detailed work, requiring a high degree of concentration, I feel the need to ‘let myself go’. “Bridge of Hope” is a painting of this type, where I have no pre-conceived ideas, but rather a collection of spontaneous thoughts, which lead to the eventual composition. Without a deliberate central theme, it becomes whatever the viewer wishes it to be; and is open to many varied interpretations. In fact, I allow the painting to paint itself.

For example the hands forming a bridge across the river were initially not connected to the face in the sky, but later when I decided to paint her shoulder, suddenly, one of them became her hand. The little girl was nearly riding a bear or an elephant, but finally it had to be a deer. I have a lot of fun creating strange, surrealistic worlds where some images appear to be larger than life, such as the humming bird, flowers, ferns and hands, whilst others such as St. Michaels Mount and the couple floating along the river in the boat are much smaller.

A world where the mind can roam freely, to the extent of the imagination.  One interpretation could be, that mother nature is holding out the hand of hope to mankind, forming a bridge, which if we choose to cross will allow us to live at one with nature, and share the responsibility for ensuring the well being of the earth and all its wonders.   It could be said that children and animals find it much easier to make this decision, demonstrated by the girl on the deer, who go unhesitatingly across. The young couple are also symbolic of hope as they float on their journey through life to a hopeful future.”


Millennium Tree (Tree of Peace)

Acrylic on Canvas, 1998 (30×40)

“As mankind emerges from the mists of time to enter a new millennium, hope abounds that all nations will be united in friendship and love (hidden faces) encircle our fragile and incredibly complex world.   The D.N.A. bracelet twines round the “helping hand” guiding the younger hand of humanity that strives to explore and learn so much more.  You will find a number of famous characters that have influenced and shaped our past, present and future e.g. Darwin, Einstein, Beethoven etc.  The left side symbolizes nature – while the right symbolizes technology and the future.  The dove symbolizes peace and the rainbow hope. The hands either side of the tree symbolizes the need for our beautiful world to be protected.”


Creation of summer

Acrylic on Masonite 1998 (30×30)

“The Goddess, her golden hair adorned with sunflowers, is holding Helios, the Greek Sun God, who traversed the sky from east to west in his chariot of the sun each day, brining warmth and light to the earth.  King Neptune can be seen ascending the spiral staircase in her shell earring.  Lighting flashes across the sky as a dramatic introduction to a summer storm, in contrast to the tranquil day spent by lovers at the river’s edge or children building a sandcastle on the beach.”


Key to Eternity

Acrylic on Canvas, 2000 (24×30)

“This image is all about the mystery of time.  The lovers shown in negative form are Time Lords responsible for the smooth passage of time, and the key to eternity.  He wears a blindfold to avoid distraction and to concentrate his thoughts on his important task.

According to the language of flowers the White Poplar is said to represent time and the maiden wears a crown of its timeless leaves with their brilliant silver undersides.  The water carrier represents the new age – ‘Age of Aquarius’- and the past by the ancient stone circle within the everlasting clock.

The girl sitting beside the clock carries a needle perhaps to put a ‘stitch in time’. The wise old owl looks on as the dandelion clocks shed their seeds continuing the everlasting circle of life. This is only one interpretation”



Sadness of Gaia

Acrylic on Canvas, 2003 (30×40)

“The Earth Goddess looks on sadly, aware that our human weaknesses will mean many years of education to prevent the ruin of our precious world.  The contents of her wings symbolize all the creatures that need protection.  As always “Gaia,” will be there to listen and to comfort, bringing with her the rainbow of hope.   The clouds are gathering around our world but she knows she must be strong and work to rectify mans errors, in the belief that he will one day understand that our precious earth deserves our protection.  Let us hope that one day soon “Gaia” will look upon the earth and be satisfied that her lessons have been learnt!”



Acrylic on Canvas, 2004 (30×40)

“Guided by a star-angel, the star ship makes it’s way to a magical land of giant lilies and mystical castles. A tattooed goddess reaches out to greet her visitor from the galaxsea.”


The Elementals

Acrylic on canvas, 2008 (30×40)

“The balance of nature is maintained by the four elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air. A gnome (earth) is offering Undine (water) a precious stone of which he has many, having delved deep beneath the earth to collect. The Salamander (fire) watches over them both as the Sylph (air) drifts timelessly above them surrounded by whirling leaves, blossom, birds and butterflies. Together they unite to ensure that all the forces of nature combine to bring stability to a world that will survive despite Mans meddling. “



Written by narrativeinart

January 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

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