Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Open Studio and Red Cross Exhibition

Monday, June 5th, 2017

As part of the Cornwall Open Studio scheme Paul Jackson, an old friend of mine, asked me if I’d show some of my photographs alongside his pots. The last day of the show coincided with opening their garden to the public to raise money for the Red Cross of which Rosie (Paul’s wife) is president of the Cornish branch. The weather started out damp and grey, but by the time the garden opened the sun came out and they had over 200 visitors, raising nearly £2,000.

The photographs were all panoramas of the North Cornish Coast and Bodmin Moor. Here they are on show.

Click to see the individual images.

Paul's Studio
Some of these prints are now available for sale through this website.

The Chagall Windows at All Saints’ Church, Tudeley

Friday, November 18th, 2016

All Saints’ Church at Tudeley in Kent is famous worldwide for its stained glass windows by Russian artist Marc Chagall. The first of these was made in 1967 to commemorate the death of Sarah d’Avigdor-Goldsmid who drowned at the age of 21. When Chagall arrived for the installation of the east window and saw the church, he said, “It’s magnificent. I will do them all.” The last window was installed in 1985, the year of his death.

The windows are inspired by the words of Psalm 8, 4-8:

What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou dost visit him?
For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
Thou hast made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field,
the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

Click on the photos to see them larger.

The windows in the chancel and north aisle are of an intense blue and contrast greatly with the two large yellow windows which suffuse the nave in gold.

Panorama of Tudely Church chancelYou can see a 360° panorama tour of the interior of the church by clicking here.

St George at St Botolph’s Church, Hardham

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Possibly the earliest depiction of St George in England is in the wall paintings at St Botolph’s Church, Hardham in West Sussex which date from the 12th century. Unusually, these paintings don’t show St George and the Dragon, (unless it was once in the space now taken up by the later window in the east wall of the nave). Those that do exist are of St George at the Battle of AntiochSt George before Datian (Diocletian) and St George on the Wheel.

St George before Datian is now partly obscured by the more recent doorway, but the other two murals remain clear.

St George at the Battle of Antioch

St George at the Battle of Antioch is the first of the lower tier of paintings on the north nave wall. The saint is shown mounted upon a large white horse which he is reining in with his left hand, while with the right he has impaled a knight with his lance. There are traces of a group of armed figures at which the saint is riding, but unfortunately this part of the painting is very obscure. The lance bears at the reverse end a white four-tailed pennon, similar to those in the Bayeux Tapestry.

St George on the Wheel

The other panel depicts the martyrdom of St George on the Wheel. His halo is more visible here than in the ‘Antioch’ panel. The legend relates how that, after enduring other cruel tortures for eight days the saint was bound to a wheel of swords but the wheel was broken by two angels who descended from heaven. George was executed by decapitation before Nicodemia’s city wall, on 23 April 303.

A full 360° panorama tour of the interior of the church showing all of the murals can be seen here.

Ravilious and The Cerne Abbas Giant

Monday, July 13th, 2015

I’ve now been twice to see the Eric Ravilious exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. I love his work, particularly the watercolours of the chalk downland and chalk hill figures. But I find his depiction of the Cerne Abbas Giant extremely puzzling. The giant is painted brown, rather than gleaming chalk white.

Revilious, Cerne Abbas Giant

It was painted in 1939 and some people have said that the figure was camouflaged to prevent German pilots using it as a landmark. But I thought that the hill figures weren’t covered over until early in 1940. In fact the exhibition catalogue states: “The following year [i.e. 1940 – the year after the painting was made] saw a mass turfing-over of chalk figures, to prevent enemy airmen using them as landmarks.” Despite searching for ages I can’t find any specific reference online that says exactly when the the Giant was camouflaged.

I’ve retouched a version of the painting to see what it would have looked like with the figure in white. Much as I like Ravilious’s painting, I think I would have preferred to see it this way.

Revilious, Cerne Abbas Giant in white

Click on the images to see them larger and to fade from one to the other.

Also interesting is how much Ravilious has changed the vertical scale of the hillside in order to give a clearer view of the Giant. Compare with this photograph which I took in 2012 from much the same position.

Cerne Abbas Giant