is taking over our account for the next two days, sharing their inspiration for the artwork in The Ballad of Saint Jerome. You can visit their Art Now exhibition at Tate Britain on display until 24 February. Free entry.
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‘Much of this work has been inspired by the story of Saint Jerome and the lion, which goes like this: Jerome and his scholar brothers are studying together in the cloister when suddenly a lion shows up. The lion is roaring and seems rowdy so the monks go for the crossbow to kill it, but Jerome alone raises a hand: this lion is just wounded! Our hero approaches the lion to find a thorn in its paw, or a broken front leg – accounts vary – and he patches it up using his medical kit. From that day on, the grateful lion stays with him forever, instantly tame.
Initially, I viewed this as a beautiful love story. Who doesn’t want their wound to be recognised? Wildness and woundedness go together. It’s rooted in a sort of promise that the institutional(ised) relationship will shelter one’s wildness from the world, though it’s in the vice versa that it becomes problematic: what does one lose by getting into bed with a scholar saint who promises healing? And what’s a lion doing in a library anyway?’
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artist Jesse Darling is taking over our Instagram, exploring the inspiration behind their exhibition at Tate Britain: The Ballad of Saint Jerome. Free entry. Link in bio. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Jesse Darling in their studio in Berlin, July 2018, photographed by Laura Braun
Jesse Darling, Art Now: The Ballad of St Jerome 2018 (installation view), photographed by Tom Carter ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Jesse Darling, Lion in wait for Saint Jerome and his medical kit 2018, photographed by Tim Bowditch
Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop, St Jerome and the Lion 1455-60, @NationalGallery
Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Jerome in the Desert, between 1450 and 1465, @diadetroit