In the 21st century, artists are finding inspiration in the Green
Man as perhaps never before. Painter and sculptor Nicholas Mynheer,
based at Horton-cum-Studley, is among them.
Nicholas is a practising Christian, who
for 20 years has been painting and sculpting, chiefly around Biblical
themes, for churches and religious institutions all round the world,
and for every denomination. He is the subject of an extended interview
with Tim Healey in the February 2007 issue of The Oxford Times Limited
Edition, from which the extracts below are taken. Nick was recently
commissioned to carve a Green Man for the Hillier Arboretum in Hampshire.
He has been deeply inspired by the Green Man and has no problem
with the supposed pagan origins of the image.
'I love that idea that we're not separate
from the world; we're part of it - we're made of the same stuff.
The Green Man for me is God in Nature, and the personification of
the change in the seasons. It's about man's relationship with the
world and Nature.'
An exterior corner of Nicholas's own studio
boasts a superb Green Man carved by his own hand. Local residents
have clearly been impressed. Another resident of Horton-cum-Studley
now has an exterior Green Man carved by Nicholas Mynheer, and two
more foliate figures have been commissioned for interiors of homes
in the village - one in stone and one in glass.
I asked Nicholas Mynheer whether he consciously
decided what sort of foliage should feature in his own Green Man
carvings. 'Not really; I do associate the Green Man with the old
deciduous oak forests. But I let the chisel decide…'
Visit Nicholas’s site at www.mynheer-art.co.uk