Saturday, 28 July 2012

Long Meg & Mordor

It started with a print - in fact a fine aquatint etching titled "Long Meg Sunset" by the modern printmaker Susan E Jameson (born 1944) - a dark and moody landscape. From the first moment I saw this image I was drawn to it's atmospheric representation of this Cumbrian landmark. However, the longer I looked the more I saw and gradually the whole impression became sinister, very dark with the last of the days sun illuminating the stone in an unworldly halo of light.

When a colleague first stared at it she felt a menace ! almost a scene from Lord of the Rings, you half expect to find Ringwraiths riding across the skyline as if they were returning to Mordor. Which oddly reminded me of the old Led Zeppelintracks "Ramble On" with Robert Plant's lyrics

"T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. 
But Gollum and the Evil one crept up and slipped away with her" 

and in "The Battle of Evermore" with 

"Queen of Light took her bow, And then she turned to go,
The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom, And walked the night alone.
Oh, dance in the dark of night, Sing to the morning light.
The dark Lord rides in force tonight, And time will tell us all"

All very dark - but what is this stone?  - to give the correct name, she is "Long Meg and her Daughters" a large stone age circle of standing stones located in the Eden Valley, in Cumbria. 

Meg was a witch with her 69 acolyte daughters standing in a circle around her when they were turned to tone by the Scottish wizard Michael Scot. Folklore has it that the stones can not be counted but the spell will be broken if anyone came count them twice and come to the same total (now there's a challenge for the school holidays) Whilst in another tale, if you can walk round the stones counting them correctly, you will hear Meg's whisper when you put your ear on her!

Does this image evoke any emotions or remind you of dark tale ?