Mahal de Man

A very long journey

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Year 2024
Medium Pencil, watercolour, and pastel on paper
Dimensions 21 x 29.6 cm

About the work

In a little wooden box, behind locked doors of the British Museum, lies this fragile Ice Age sculpture. Carved into the tip of a mammoth tusk, it depicts two swimming reindeer in autumn, a female deer at the front and a male following close behind. It was made in what is now France, using stone tools, and is about thirteen thousand years old.

These past few years, I have been drawing stone tools in museum collections. Spending many hours looking, mapping, retracing. Oftentimes I am able to touch and handle the objects. By chance I saw the swimming reindeer, and I was able to request to see them again a few weeks later. There is something very special about spending time with objects that are thousands of years old. It makes things very simple, for a moment. But then I remember where I am, and museums themselves are terrible beasts.

Career Highlights

Born 1990 The Netherlands, Mahal de Man lives and works in London. Graduated from BA Fine Art at Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (2012).

Selected exhibitions include Lost and Found, Glass Cloud Gallery, London, UK (2023); Tracing Time, 73 Tontine Street, Folkestone, UK (2022), Tannery Projects Billboard Commission, London, UK (2021); Drawing Biennial 2021, Drawing Room, London, UK (2021); Drawing & Studio, London Square Bermondsey, London, UK (2020); Drawing Biennial 2019, Drawing Room, London, UK (2019)

Residencies include The Art Station Residency, Saxmundham, UK (2022); Lockdown Residency, online (2020); Lumen Residency, Atina, Italy (2015).

← Jessie Makinson

Satin Tongue

Andrew Mania →

James

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