In Elefant Parade, Samuel Jan, using his unique blend of charcoal, pen
and ink and watercolour techniques, depicts a world of childlike
wonder and curiosity that is at once playful and foreboding. The world
he creates is like a child's dreamworld - full of beasts and
I have always been interested in the struggle of man throughout
history. I believe some of the rawest forces exist within a human’s
soul during times of complete desperation. This is why when I read
about the Great Depression and travelling circuses during the
thirties, I was instantly attracted to the tales of existence among
exotic animals, tents, performance acts and life on the road. I was
attracted to the dirt, the filth, and the inevitable stench that came
with having nothing at all. I was attracted to the vibrancy of the
stories told by the people who lived the life of a circus employee.
Through reading I was inspired to create a series of narrative
drawings that explore life in the circus during the thirties. The
scenes I chose to depict are slightly eerie and illustrate the allure
of the unfamiliar, of the mysterious, and of the slightly disturbing.
I used photographs found in books from circuses in America in the
thirties, so all the subjects are based on real people who lived as
part of a travelling circus.
Opening Reception: Thurs. May 6,2010 at 7pm