BEHIND THE WORK
Welcome to Jay Johnstone's Tolkienography & Fantasy Art, welcome to Middle-earth.
Taking inspiration from Byzantine iconography to the great works of Gustav Klimt, Jay works with traditional methods and techniques exploring the relationship of peoples of Middle-earth, from the motivations of core characters to the defining inspiration of their creation. The results are a stunning collection of painting, manuscripts and sculptures that could have been made in the monasteries in the of Middle Ages or in the libraries of Minas Tirith. He exhibits and lectures on his work and the very original concepts and ideas that have come from his creating his work.
Johnstone's work in that sense is a perfect complement to Tolkien's History of Middle Earth, presenting a different context to the many others who have attempted to illustrate Tolkien.
I first met Jay Johnstone surrounded by his artwork at the Return of the Ring conference in Loughborough in August 2012 – and was struck by two things. First, the impact some of his pictures had on my psyche, and second, by Jay’s dedication to his craft.
What they say
Johnstone's artistic interpretation of Tolkien's work warrants the same attention as that of Alan Lee or John Howe; his emphasis on characters rather than scenes or landscapes is itself a distinctive quality, but the iconography is what truly sets Johnstone's work apart. https://doi.org/10.3366/ink.2020.0086
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