Illus Blog

Simple and Profound: The Power of Connection

Simple and Profound: The Power of Connection

In our increasingly divided and isolated world, our basic need to connect with one another feels more urgent and pressing than ever. Much like air, food and water, connection is fundamental to our survival, fostering happiness, belonging, fulfilment and meaning. Art has illustrated the power of connection since early Renaissance times and has continued to do so through the ages, capturing the vital sparks of life-giving energy that are passed from person to person through the simple and profound act of touch. Raphael, The Grand Duke’s Madonna, 1504   One of the most moving and timeless illustrations of connection is...

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Blazing Heat: The Power of the Sun in Art

Blazing Heat: The Power of the Sun in Art

Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project, 2003, image via Tate Modern   The sun – a blazing orb of fire that hovers beyond our reach - is vital to our very survival, nurturing life and dictating the structure of our daily lives. But there is also a magical and romantic quality to the sun as it lights up our universe with glistening iridescent rays, burning a hole in the sky or casting fiery light across the horizon and into the atmosphere beyond. Artists have tried for centuries to capture just some of the elusive wonder wrapped up in the sun, demonstrating...

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How Art Can Transform Our Living Spaces

How Art Can Transform Our Living Spaces

Art has adorned our living spaces since prehistoric times, from rudimentary cave paintings to the soaring wonders of the Renaissance and beyond. Long before the days of books and reading, the immediate impact of art connected with us on a profound emotional level, lighting up our imagination and opening up avenues into new worlds. More than just a decorative tool, ancient civilisations saw how art could enliven ordinary walls with colourful and inspirational stories of human survival, or invest into them a sublime atmosphere of spiritual wonder. In modern and contemporary times art has become more complex and subjective, but...

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Who was Icarus? The Reckless Youth Who Fell into the Sea

Who was Icarus? The Reckless Youth Who Fell into the Sea

One of the most compelling stories of all time, the Greek mythological character of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun, has fascinated artists for centuries. In the full Greek myth Daedalus and Icarus, a series of universal themes are explored including the father/son jostle for power, the overconfident and reckless ambition of youth, and the irrepressible human desire to stretch beyond the limitations of our earthbound lives. Let’s take a look at the story of Icarus in more detail, and how artists through the ages have brought the characters to life, including Henri Matisse, whose Icarus...

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Desire and Longing: Art’s Enduring Fascination with the Moon

Desire and Longing: Art’s Enduring Fascination with the Moon

Max Ernst, The Birth of a Galaxy, 1969, oil on canvas. Foundation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel Beyeler Collection, image via The Paris Review The mysterious and enigmatic wonder of the moon has fascinated artists for millennia. As earth’s only natural satellite it has hovered as an unchanging force over our many civilizations, representing our timeless and enduring place in the universe. Visible with the naked eye, it hovers as a gateway between our planet and the great darkness of the unseen cosmos beyond it. In culture, literature and the arts the moon’s ever-present, yet unknowable nature has lit up minds since ancient...

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