Tim Lane's vivid illustrations bring timeless themes of love and death to life

The Bristol artist's 'Anima Mundi' has been published thanks to Kickstarter

Drawing is Tim Lane’s first love and art fans have taken a liking to his intricate pencil illustrations too.

The Bristol fine artist’s five metre graphite drawing, “Anima Mundi”, is set to go on show early next month, after a Kickstarter campaign quickly raised twice its intended target. 

Richly detailed and arresting, the epic piece folds down into an A5 book that almost £18,000 of funds has made possible to publish.

Death, sexuality and renewal are recurring themes in Tim’s work. But, despite the prominence of skulls, he insists “Anima Mundi” is about “the whole gamut of human experience and not just morbid”.

Inspired by old Victorian etchings, Tim describes drawing as a “cathartic process” that explores “the cycle of life”.


“I take influence from timeless myths, using traditional icons and symbols that are from the natural world and recognisable,” he says. “Leaving interpretations open, like in myths, is a good thing in art. None of my work is intended as preachy.”

The title "Anima Mundi" comes from the Latin for ‘Soul of the World’ – the idea that all living things on Earth are connected, as the soul is to the human body. Tim wanted to explore something that “keeps the mystery of the world alive without being religious”.

Tim Lane's 'Anima Mundi' can be folded into different narratives

Tim started working on “Anima Mundi” two years ago after finding a blank concertina sketchbook. The “stream of consciousness thing” appealed to him.

“I wanted to do something weirder and darker as I don’t find that other art gets out of any of my demons, as it were,” he says. “I found I could express myself better in this sort of visual diary.”

Tim Lane at his illustration desk

Tim’s talents do not end with “Anima Mundi”, however. His Bacchanalia series draws upon the interaction between plants, animals and humans and could be viewed as “people on their way to a party, to celebrate life”. One, showing a man and a woman in lion and zebra heads, is called “The Chase” and about love.

'The Chase' from Tim Lane's Bacchanalia series

Despite his growing fanbase, Tim maintains a distance between himself and the famous Bristol art scene. “I get a little sick of street art,” he says. “But there are elements of it that link with my work, namely the randomness, and I like that.”

Anima Mundi will be exhibited as part of Tim’s solo exhibition at Bristol’s Antlers Gallery from 4 – 27 July

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