Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Dream of Daniel Gumb

Daniel Gumb was born in 1703, an eccentric who built his house not only on the rock but in it. There is little factual evidence on record about the man other than parish registers. We know he was born in Stoke Climsland on Bodmin Moor in 1703. Daniel was a studious young boy somehow learning to read and understand mathematics and in particular geometry which enabled him to find occasional work in mapping local estates. Stone masonry work was Daniel's main source of income, cutting and carving it and this became his livelihood. Daniel built his own home from the rock near the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor, having found a large granite slab for a roof and supported with stone piled walls. On the upper surface of the roof he chiselled a set of abstruse Euclidean figures and near the entrance an inscription : 'D. Gumb 1735' (or possibly 1735). The cave was lined with stone and some form of cement and together with a chimney and a stone door he lived with his wife Florence and it is believed they had a number of children. Daniel held a fascination with the stars and the roof of the cave was his observatory. He was a man who remained outside of society by choice, enjoying his own and the company of his family. Perhaps he would have had the instincts of a recluse wherever he might have been born. His times let him live as he wished.



  

This drawing is almost half way completed. Being a man who chose to live on the desolate moor and no doubt felt the very essence of his humanity in spirit with the natural world. I wanted to reflect upon a dream he might have experienced. The dream involves the pagan like female character with the deer skull and princes robe tormenting Daniel into a frenzied rage. I have yet to give a slight hint at a cave and include a few black crows with stormy clouds in the distance.


Have found the bottom right corner to be a good place for the cave and included a few taunting mythical figures in the sky.


Just about completed the drawing apart from asking my wife to kindly model her left foot to finish off the standing figure.