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$206
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
6
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, July 21 2015 8:26 AM UTC +00:00
$206
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
6
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, July 21 2015 8:26 AM UTC +00:00

About

Portrait of William Blake contemplating the Ghost of a Flea
Portrait of William Blake contemplating the Ghost of a Flea
Rhyan Taylor's sculpture of William Blake's Ghost of a Flea
Rhyan Taylor's sculpture of William Blake's Ghost of a Flea

This creature haunted, legendary English visionary, poet and engraver, William Blake in his dreams and visions. As one of Blake's "Ancients", artist and astrologer, John Varley, commissioned an aging Blake to draw his visions, and "Visionary Heads" is the resultant & extraordinary series. Blake's Ghost of a Flea was a part of the series and it has become the crown jewel in a sense. This physically small painting measuring 38mm x 32mm hangs in the Tate Gallery yet it stirs the imagination largely beyond all other visions Blake revealed to us. It's quite a special and well known painting.

My interpretation and sheer fascination with Blake's creature was the driving force to see the fearsome beast in the round, 360 degrees. I attempted to maintain a sense of dream time and old world sensibilities with my interpretation of its physical features, textures and hand held objects. This sculpt has an antique feel to it and others who have seen it "in the clay", tend to agree.

William Blake influenced so many writers, artists, musicians and storytellers. I am an aspiring artist and educated storyteller. This particular piece is an opening charge towards for a much, much bigger project to come! Please support this artistic vision and help me share with others how to open their own doors of perception.

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“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”

― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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Support this campaign.

England may to put Blake on their new 20 Pound note.

Additional Information and Interesting Facts

"Bank of England calls on public to think of visual artist to grace new £20 note" - The Guardian, May 2015

"Experts suggest William Blake or JMW Turner, with Bank governor Mark Carney urging people to think beyond most famous as he launches public consultation." - The Guardian, May 2015

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The following educational reference material is from Johnathan Jones' 2003 article from The Guardian's Portrait of the Week - Culture.

"According to artist and astrologer John Varley, who was with Blake when he did the first pencil sketch of this spirit, Blake claimed to see "visionary heads" that he drew as he saw them. Blake was teasing Varley, playing up to his image as a romantic prophet; he was also parodying the empirical tradition of the portrait, the taking of faces from life that made the fortunes of Reynolds and Gainsborough. Blake, too, draws a head from life - except that it is an invisible being only he can see.

Blake's flea is evil, gothic, grotesque, stalking through a starry realm between stage curtains - walking the boards, in fact, as if the artist had ensnared this creature to appear in a spectacle at Drury Lane Theatre. The ghost's spine is a throbbing, gristly column shooting into his scaly head with its bulging eyes and voracious tongue; his massive muscles are red-toned, as if infused with dried blood, and his loping, crushing walk is that of a colossus come to life. This vastness and mad-eyed bestiality contrasts with the visible form of the spirit's physical embodiment, which can be seen on the floor between his veined legs: a little flea.

Blake's explanation of the spirit he saw accords with the painting's extreme drama of scale, the contrast of the huge invisible monster with its tiny incarnation as insect. The blood-drinking household flea, said Blake, is in fact the physical shape taken by the souls of men who are so bloodthirsty that they are providentially confined to the size and form of insects.

The ghost is gorging on a bowl of blood. This is Blake's ultimate critique of the English portrait. How can empiricism, good manners and the sociability of a Gainsborough possibly acknowledge, as Blake does here, that one aspect of human nature is that of a blood-drinking ghoul?

Blake's muscular nude and his art of firm, unhesitant lines delineating heroic presences derive from Michelangelo." - Johnathan Jones, The Guardian, Portrait of the Week, 2003.

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I thank you all for your interest in this campaign! Please do everything you can to contribute. Your money will be used wisely and every attention to detail will be assured. You will not be disappointed.

Sincerely Yours,

Rhyan Taylor

Ghost of a Flea sculpture by Rhyan Taylor
Ghost of a Flea sculpture by Rhyan Taylor
The Ghost...
The Ghost...
Fearsome indeed
Fearsome indeed
   
Shadow of the Ghost
Shadow of the Ghost

Risks and challenges

This project is fairly straight forward. However, a ridiculous amount of work goes into the bronze casting process. But as soon as the necessary funding is in place to begin scanning and molding from the original clay model the process becomes less complicated. At least that is what's supposed to happen. Each casting is unique and receives a luscious patina. Initiates in The Order of Albion will have the opportunity to select a patina of their choice once the Kickstarter campaign has concluded.

The fine art prints or gicleé's will be designed and produced after the first bronze sculpture is safe to touch after patination and professionally photographed. The same is not necessarily true for the 3D printed editions, shirts and note cards. These may be produced from the original clay sculpt before the mold making process has concluded. 3D prints can originate from the original clay sculpture or the finished bronze after patination. This is an option those specific patrons can choose.

Due to unknown factors, shipping costs are best estimates and may decrease or increase based on delivery destination.

Please ask any questions you might have!

I Thank You Again.

...and William Blake, I'm certain, where ever he may be, thanks you as well.

Sincerely Yours,
~ Rhyan Taylor

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Bright Tyger - I just want to contribute something to support this project. I don't require anything in return except a thank you. Well, maybe a little something in the mail would be cool. ;~

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Urizen's Tears - You receive a set of white reply cards featuring images of the Ghost of a Flea sculpture & fascinating Blake quotes.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Los - You receive a personally designed shirt of the Ghost of a Flea sculpture. Shirt color of choice. Dark Blue, Light Blue, Black, Dark Grey, Light Grey, Medium Brown or White.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Songs of Innocence - You receive a 12"X18" signed gicleé print of the sculpture Ghost of a Flea. Artfully designed by yours truly. It will have that old world feel to it.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Songs of Experience - You receive a 18"X24" signed gicleé print of the sculpture Ghost of a Flea. Design of your choice. Three to choose from. Designs will be available for selection after the campaign has closed.

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    Pledge $2,200 or more About $2,200

    Circle of Destiny - This is a big deal to produce ladies and gentlemen. This is not hobbyist materials, vocational operators or desktop machinery at work. This an art piece. At this level you receive a FULL SCALE, 3D, high resolution, digitally printed sculpture of Ghost of a Flea. 19.5"x11"x7". A custom base and faux aged bronze patination will be applied by an experienced, professional craftsman to give it an old world bronze look & feel. You will love owning this rare and unique piece. And it's built to last.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Tree of Mystery - This is the real deal old world process. This is BRONZE. Ladies and gentlemen feel the power of cast bronze. A few wise art collectors, patrons, followers of Blake, will receive a later edition*, signed, ORIGINAL BRONZE CASTING of Ghost of a Flea. Superior patina. Polished marble base.

    Don't miss out on possessing this fine art bronze sculpture. It's unique and powerful. Hundreds of hours went into making it a reality. No one, to my knowledge, has ever envisioned the creature quite like this. Be a part of history with me. This sculpture in an art gallery would cost over $7,500.00.

    The note card set, designer t-shirt and 12x18" print are included at this level.

    * later edition numbers will depend on total bronzes ordered after the campaign has concluded. Shipping costs are best estimates.

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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    The Order of Albion - You are a pillar of the community. The doors of perception open. You will receive an early edition*, signed, ORIGINAL BRONZE CASTING of The Ghost of a Flea. Custom patination. Custom marble base. Custom built, hand-crafted transportation case.

    Don't miss out on possessing this fine art bronze sculpture. It is absolutely unique and powerful. Hundreds of hours went into making it a reality. No one, to my knowledge and research, has ever envisioned the creature as a three dimensional fine art sculpture. Be a part of history with me. This sculpture in an art gallery would cost over $8,500.00.

    The note card set, designer t-shirt and 18x24" poster are included at this level.

    * early edition numbers will depend on total bronzes ordered after the campaign has concluded.

    You won't be disappointed.

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Funding period

- (30 days)