ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
© All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe 2015-16  All artworks copyright the estate of the artist.

[composition: three growing

forms]                                                   1941

Ink and watercolour. 12½ x 17in.  (32.4 x 43.5cm.) Signed and dated: ‘Colquhoun/41’ lower right. Provenance NT. British Museum. Literature Ratcliffe, 2007, ill. b/w pl. 58. This automatic drawing marks the first appearance of the motif of three vertical forms rising from  a horizontal one. It occurs again in Gorgon and Guardian Angel, both of 1946. In the present work the forms are ambiguous: are they organic or mineral – or an intermediate state of petrifaction? In Moment of Death (1946) it becomes evident that the horizontal form is a supine human figure and the vertical forms are the departing spirit.