‘George & Dragon, Berlin No. 1’ is an archival reverse print onto aluminium from photographer & artist Kenny Laurenson.
Limited edition of 16
Archival reverse photographic print onto aluminium
Signed & numbered by the artist
The legend of Saint George and the dragon is one of the oldest mythical, romantic stories and originates in 10th century Libya. St. George fights and kills a dragon to save a Princess. First he struck the monster with his spear but the dragon’s scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. He fell from his horse but rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Recovering his strength he smote the beast with his sword, but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and back on horseback with sword in hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales… it fell dead at his feet.
This simply became the most epic of stories for hundreds of years. and consequently there are numerous renditions across the world in words, art and sculpture. Saint George was the ultimate hero and the popular favourite among Saints across many cultures and continents.
Kenny Laurenson has been captivated not only by the story itself and the portrayals but also by the profound realisation of what it must have meant to ordinary people so long ago. Today we turn the greatest stories into paperbacks and feature films but still they may not last a century whereas this simple but powerful story of bravery and chivalry has lasted hundreds of years and during that time would have been known to everyone. A story that anyone could retell and yet over the last 100 years or so it’s been forgotten as we have become immersed in storytelling through imagery, print and film. “I hope this story can continue in my work, as I combine an intended ambiguity along with clear references of the legend.” – Kenny Laurenson
Through photomontage technique Kenny Laurenson has endeavoured to bring the subjects a new life and a new perspective for the viewer.
The Berlin Statue of St. George fighting the dragon is a magnificent piece created in 1853 by the German sculptor August Kiss. It originally adorned a courtyard of the Stadtschloss, the majestic Berlin city palace though now occupies a spot on a small square near the river Spree.
The unveiling would have been a major event and word of mouth passed on for generations who would travel far to see this wonder of the world.
The immortality of statues reflects our human aspiration. Today, although society have become oblivious to such statues they still retain a gravitas and eternal value. They may be taken for granted in our fast urban environments yet one would surely notice if they were removed. Could we ever dispose of them?.. I think not. They are destined to become ever more valuable, yet around the world they stand ignored and exposed to the elements.
Kenny Laurenson has embedded further depth into the final piece intending that they should be viewed from a distance, mid range or close up with entirely different effect.
Kenny Laurenson’s photomontage series ‘Statuesque’ expresses a long fascination with perception. “Statues in cities are so often almost invisible yet they depict powerful stories and characters from an era when visual information was so rare. Statues have gravity, beauty, craft and hold an eternal value, as symbolic of immortality as anything we create. I endeavour to bring them new context, new life, new perspective”. Kenny Laurenson takes a traditional dark room approach, a crafted ‘dodge and burn’ technique, utilising digital technology.