The Trajan Column [REPRO.1864-128] celebrates the conquest of the Dacians by the Roman Emperor Trajan.
I saw the Trajan Column from the viewing gallery some three months ago whilst still in restoration. As a student I had spent many days in the Plaster Court as part of my intensive drawing course at Camberwell Art College drawing and studying the column’s beautiful intricate carving.
I have always been impressed with the parade of densely packed imagery and texture of the bas-relief which winds around the column. And I was inspired to think not of celebrating the victory of the military, but exploring the effects the military has on the innocent civilian population. I took as my starting point a children’s procession in Aleppo from the 1960s winding through the streets and set them against a background of contemporary toys, games and plastic bricks which merge into the background to real blocks of rubble and a scene of total devastation. Using etching as my medium is ideal to create deep rich textures and detailed illustration which reflects the imagery and texture of the column itself.
I have bound my working drawings into a book which shows the separate proofing stages in the development of the final etched image.
To push the creative concept further, I wrapped the actual print, not on to a conventional column, but a simulated missile. The parallels, I hope are obvious.
Rome (This is where the original column was carved., made) Paris (the reproduction , cast)
113 (made) ca. 1864 (cast)
V&A collection reference number(s):