Artist Mark Williams seeks funds on Kickstater for caves project
Artist Mark Williams has been working for a number of years on artwork that involved images of toy soldiers, referencing the way the ideology of militarism is smuggled into generation after generation. Williams recently closed that chapter of his work and is starting a new project inspired by caves.
From an email sent out by Williams last Thursday:
I am currently at the National Speleological Society's National Conference in Lewisburg. Yesterday I went through my first real cave that is not a show cave. It was fun, beautiful, interesting, and a bit scary at times. Today I went trough another cave for a photography trip after buying a pair of boots. Caving with an old pair of shoes with little to no traction was really not a good idea. I learned a lot so all's well that ends well. Below are some photos of me in my brand new suit. The last one is me (see image below) after over four hours in the cave rolling around, crawling on my hands and knees, slithering through holes, and belly crawling through a shallow stream. The back side of the suit was just as bad and I already got a small rip in it.
"Crawling on my hands and knees, slithering through holes…" Better him than me.
Williams is looking for funding on Kickstarter for his research tour of caves. He's offering some nice premiums for backers (see image below for an example of a photograph taken and hand-colored by Williams for a $50 pledge). Williams is trying to reach a goal of $2,000 by July 27.
From Williams' Kickstarter page:
In August I will spend three weeks visiting show caves in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. While inside the caves I will take hundreds of digital as well as black and white film photographs and lots of video documentation. I will reference these images to make paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors, and sculptures when I return. This will be an ongoing series expected to last a few years or more and I am expecting to make some large paintings—4 x 6 feet and larger. Right now I am at the beginning and am collecting source material.
I have never been to Missouri or Arkansas and am excited to visit. Caves I plan to see in Missouri are Meremac Caverns, Fantastic Caverns, Bridal Cave, Cathedral Cave, Jacob's Cave, Onandaga Cave, Round Spring Caverns, Talking Rocks Cavern, Mark Twain Cave, Cameron Cave, and maybe Truitt's Cave if I can meet the owner as it is now closed. In Arkansas I plan to see Cosmic Cavern, Bull Shoals Caverns, Hurricane River Cave, Mystic Caverns, Onyx Cave, War Eagle Cavern, and maybe the Old Spanish Treasure Cave. Finally in Tennessee I plan to visit Cumberland Caverns, Forbidden Caverns, Tuckaleechee Caverns, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, and maybe Lost Sea. Several caves offer wild tours where you do real caving and I may do that as well. If you have any suggestions or know of any non-show caves please let me know.
If you are interested in supporting this project—and would like to get a nice piece of original artwork by Williams in the process—make a pledge at his Kickstarter page.