Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Wildman of Orford (print for sale)

The Wildman of Orford (print for sale)

One of the 6 new prints I created for my solo show Wunderkabinett last week-end.

This handsome fellow is the Wildman of Orford (aka the Mer-man of Orford).

This wonderful piece of East Anglian folklore was brought to my attention earlier this year by the poet Chrissie Gittins, for whom I illustrated a wonderful book of her poems, the Humpback's Wail, which included one about this strange and misunderstood creature.

Caught in fisherman's net off Orford Ness in 1167 the Wildman was described as bald on the top of his head, but otherwise covered, head to toe, in thick matted fur. He could speak no English and did not recognise the church as holy. He would eat anything offered him, so long as it was cold and he had squeezed all the juice from it. He was held captive at Orford Castle (shown in the print) for some time, where he was hung by his feet and beaten, but still he would not speak. Eventually the Wildman of Orford managed to escape when allowed to bathe in the sea where he swam away to his freedom, never to be seen again.

Printed for me by the talented Mr Yann Brien of Handwash Studios, the print measures 29.7 cm wide by 42 cm down (A3), and has 2 colours. It is a limited edition of 50 (although quite a few have sold already!) and is available from my Etsy shop ( at the very reasonable price of £45 plus P&P. Snatch him up whilst you may!

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