London-based illustrator and artist Martin Tomsky turns the dancing line of the pen into dynamic sculpture with his multi-layered woodcuts. In one artwork, several wood pieces in varying degrees of brown are cut into swooping arabesques and lain over one another to create the essence of a whirlwind. At the center, a cube is trapped inside a slightly larger box. A larger-than-life insect with menacing fangs watches over the heart of the piece, as if protecting Pandora’s box. In his illustrations, Tomsky invents fantasy worlds where good and evil battle one another in nature. The same thematic oppositions can be seen in his woodcuts. Trees and clouds meld into one another to create a single ominous sky-canopy. In the darkness below, owls hide in trees, supposedly from the giant bearded millipede that wraps itself around a central tree trunk. The ground below, sprouting with mushrooms and speckled with unknown creatures, is as petrifying as the sky above.
Other works are more lighthearted, like a reindeer as innocent as Rudolph, and other single-animal works, including an owl in flight, a fox on the hunt, and a bunny on its hind-legs. The porcupine and mouse may be described as cute, but no animal will ever be safe from Tomsky’s power to place it in battle with a lion.