Mount Purgatory, 2022
pencil, graphite wash and watercolour on paper
56.5 x 75cm
Mount Purgatory presents an image drawn from the medieval Christian imagination, an iconographic relic with the protean persistence typical of religious myth. Clothed in this mundane material embodiment - a pile of rocks - the grandiose religious dramas of time as a medium of suffering and purification are taken as a model for the more familiar temporal anxieties of our time, of global disaster and pandemic-induced boredom, of time running out or accumulating uselessly. This purgatorial time thematized in the image is also the condition of its appearance - it is the time of the work and the labour inscribed in it.
Joseph Anatolius creates pictures out of an interest in the vestigial power of the traditional art image and sees in this power a link to modes of life and consciousness outside the distortions wrought by certain historical and technological developments.