Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Jack Tales Wall by Charles Vess

Continuing Jack and the Beanstalk week, I offer a link to an article and images of The Jack Tales Wall by Charles Vess. The 30'x50' brick wall sculpture is part of a campus building at Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Virginia. Many of you know Charles Vess as the illustrator of some of Neil Gaiman's work, such as Stardust, but his body of work is large and shouldn't be missed. Visit his website here. Or simply look at some of his other work such as Medicine Road by Charles de Lint and Charles Vess, The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess, and, coming soon, Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess.

From his explanation of the work:

Who better to represent the people of these four counties than young Jack, the hero of hundreds of lively tales, indigenous to the Appalachian mountains? These very tales that were brought by the Scots-Irish and German immigrants from Europe into the southwestern Virginia region during the mid 1700's. Much as the early pioneers adapted themselves to this mountain environment, so did their stories adapt along with them. Thus, tales that were first transmitted orally throughout the British Isles and written down by the Brothers Grimm in Germany, mutated here into stories with an intrinsically 'American' hero. A hero who possessed limitless optimism and a trust in his absolute ability to control his own destiny.

Be sure to click through to the full page to see several more images. I only used four of them here, but there are several more to demonstrate the scale of the project.

1 comment:

  1. This wall is incredible. It's impossible to get a good photo of it all at once. It's worth stopping by this campus to see this and other fabulous walls by brick sculptor Johnny Hagerman, featuring images based on local landscapes and ancient Native American pictographs on nearby Paintlick Mountain. The Appalachian Arts Center down the road is nice also.