Introduction to the Super Moon Collection
Imagine yourself outside, on a crisp spring or autumn night, the breeze rustling the drooping boughs of the trees above you, the country pond nearby glistening silver with the light of the moon. And the moon – it dominates the sky with its otherworldly luminescence, which touches each tip of every leaf, each textured dip and dive of the trees’ bark, and each shimmering blade of grass. This scene, which both comforts and unsettles the viewer, like something out of a Victorian fairy tale, is what Edward Twohig portrays in his Super Moon series. These ethereal tableaux of moon, sky, and foliage, in scenes surrounding Marlborough, Little Bedwyn and Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, were Edward’s artistic focus for the better part of 2020, when supermoons materialised three times in the spring and three times in the autumn – with April’s and October’s moons being the most spectacular.
A supermoon (technical name perigee-syzygy) is a full moon that appears when the celestial body is at its closest point to the earth, still over 220,000 miles from our planet. To the human eye, a supermoon appears approximately 14% bigger in diameter and 30% brighter than a full moon further away from the earth. It is an extraordinary, somewhat supernatural condition of gravity and atmosphere and it is the perfect subject for Edward Twohig’s drypoint prints. Edward uses both oil- and water-based printing ink to achieve a variety of textured lines to best evoke the exquisitely intangible feeling of a spring or autumn night flooded with atmospheric light. During the occurrences of these supermoons, Edward found that the moon’s “luminosity was silhouetted against the trees and spindly branches … as if they were electrically charged”. It was this magnetic vibrancy, which Edward describes as having “tingled the spine and optic nerves” during his nightly vigils, that made the artist feel that he had to commit these scenes to paper. Edward’s Super Moon suite will hopefully prompt art lovers to look up at the sky more often, and with added appreciation. As Galileo wrote in The Starry Messenger (1610), “It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the moon”.
To end this introduction to Edward Twohig’s newest exhibition, it’s best to conclude with the artist’s own thoughts on the atmospheric, societal, theoretical, and theological importance of creating a suite of drypoint monoprints depicting the moon and its effects:
“It has been fifty-two years since we landed on the Moon. Beyond its physical power over our oceans’ tides, and its influence on life on Earth, the Moon carries a wealth of connotations. What do we project onto this celestial body? The Moon can be portrayed as a witness to earthly events, as a companion, as a world or as a territory to be colonised and conquered. Moonlight reveals the environment at night, familiar shapes taking on a new character. The Moon is captivating, and a comfort spiritually, emotionally, visually, and intellectually. The whispering of moonlight, especially when it is more sharply defined and illuminated, appears to be animated; surrounded by the tangible and intangible of shadows and half shadows. It reminds me of the lightness of a Japanese screen-painting added to something approaching the many-textured richness of Rembrandt’s etchings. In essence, it is this glimmering whisper of the poetic soul that I aim to capture within each composition in my Super Moon 2020 suite of drypoint monoprints”.
Dr. Christine Slobogin, January 2021
100 MC Super Moon’s current exhibition in the Master’s Lodge, Marlborough College