Prophecy

A4, digital, 2011

In a scene reminiscent of the apocalyptic paintings of the Romantic artist John Martin, this depiction of devastation from the skies clearly shows no natural phenomenon.  It may be the wrath of some deity, or the magic power of man, that causes this level of destruction.  Buildings crumble and cities burn as unimaginable forces are let loose, meteors crash from the cloud-ridden sky and lava flows down to sweep away all that this civilization has built.

But our eye is drawn to the solitary figure on an outcrop of rock, standing next to a ruined henge.  He wears a robe and holds his arms high towards the source of the carnage.  Is he the cause of this great event – the conduit through which the magic flows to bring about the fulfilment of prophecy?  Or it might be that he is a victim like everyone else, remaining near his ruined temple and throwing up his hands in despair as he witnesses the awesome sight which he is powerless to prevent.

Text: Richard Hayes