Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Mockford & Doig (plus new Ravilious date)

Harold Mockford, Eastbourne, 1958 (artist's estate)
It was great to see so many people at our talk in Eastbourne on Sunday - 150 or thereabouts, including an MP and the Mayor and his wife! Aside from a minor crisis in the biscuit supply chain, everything went very smoothly, and I managed to use a clip-on mic without sounding as though I were trapped inside a 1920s wireless... There was even a raffle, which came as a bit of a surprise. If you live near Eastbourne, join the Friends of the Towner! And visit the Harold Mockford retrospective, which runs until the end of the month and features a host of lovely, inventive landscape paintings.

Harold Mockford, The Long Man of Wilmington (artist's estate)
On the way home I stopped in at Tate Britain to see what was going on, and found a quite odd but interesting set-up in the main hall, with paintings like Paul Nash's 'Totes Meer' and Sutherland's 'Entrance to a Lane' presented salon-style with various related artworks, photos, etc. Unfortunately I didn't have time to work out exactly what it was all about, but it seemed like a good way to breathe new life into familiar paintings... By contrast the galleries of 20th century British art seemed a bit tired, although Peter Doig's 'Echo Lake' was fabulous. Here's an artist who manages to be both painterly and tuned in to our media-saturated world - I will definitely try and see this painting again before it vanishes back into the gallery's nether regions.

Constable vs Turner is one of my favourite Tate games, almost as fun as Spot the Lowry. I always want to like Constable more because Turner was such a thoroughly unlikeable man, but this time 'Norham Castle' beat one of the Brighton beach paintings hands down. Obviously not in the mood for all that leafy green...

Peter Doig, Echo Lake, 1998 (Tate/ artist's estate)
Have just discovered that my talk on Rav and Paul Nash at the Rye Arts Festival later in the month has sold out, so sorry if you haven't managed to get a ticket for that. During October I'm going to be busy launching a new, updated edition of The Naked Guide to Cider, and also pressing apples for the Totterdown Press 2012 vintage.

Then on November 6th I'll be giving an illustrated talk on Ravilious for Hungerford Books, though I can't remember off the top of my head where in Hungerford it's going to be. The time is 7pm, and I'm sure you can get further info from the shop.

After that, we have the V&A Study Day on Sat 17th Nov, then I'll be in Devizes the following Saturday, 24 Nov. Finally, there's the St Bride evening on Weds 5th Dec. More info on all of these HERE.

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