2015, ultra-violet, acrylic and water colour paint on cartridge paper
'The Enchanted Captive' is the forth piece in the Ludwig II series of work, this time using UV paint and black light to add to the theatrical style of the real life Venus Grotto which exists in the the grounds of Linderhof Castle in Bavaria. Built by Ludwig II as a tribute to one of his favourite Wagner operas 'Tannhäuser' the artificial grotto had a lake, a giro powered coloured lighting system and a wave machine. Ludwig could often be found being paddled around the lake by one of his servants, in his small conch shaped boat decorated with rose garlands. Real life swans were also ushered in to the grotto from outside so Ludwig could feed them in situ.
This piece represents Ludwig's obsession of all things theatrical and his love for his great friend Richard Wagner. The tale of Tannhäuser begins with the said hero being enchanted by Venus. The spell she has cast makes him incapable of leaving her side in the grotto as he is completely entranced by her beauty. This first act is visualised in the mural painted by Josef Aigner which is the backdrop to the grotto. This 'enchantment' can also be applied by Wagner's influence over Ludwig. His imagination and talent for combining all elements of the theatre to transport the audience to a different world appealed to Ludwig greatly. The swan, bathed in a melodramatic spectrum of light, is representative of the sorcery that the Fairy tale king was under. When seen in the flesh, and illuminated in black light, the UV paints give a magical glow and the experimentation with light links the piece even closer with the subject matter on a physical level.