7 October 2012

Notes from an Exhibition

I went to Tate Britain today to see The Pre-Raphaelite exhibition - subtitled "The Victorian Avant Garde". This was part of my following The Artist's Way, (see last post), and I'm very glad to have gone. I made some notes while I was there (a bit green-inkish of me, but hell, I'm so old now it doesn't matter), and here they are for your delectation (and for my reference later):
1. Symbols. The paintings are full of them - why aren't my photographs, why don't I cultivate some meaning in my work? Why don't I plan ahead instead of seeing what I find? Maybe I shall in future. Maybe.
2. Melancholy, darkness and deep, rich colours - I remain drawn to these.
3. William Morris believed that one must derive pleasure from the process of manufacturing in order that the finished product shall have meaning, shall have value (I'm paraphrasing - bear with me). Seems very obvious now that it has been pointed out to me. Doh.
4. This painting, by Rossetti, struck me as very beautiful indeed. It also made me think that Frasier, as a series, was even cleverer than I had hitherto thought.
5. These are my notes written whilst standing in front of William Holman Hunt's Lady of Shalott: "WHH pulled out all the stops for this painting, a huge colourful tour de force of wild red hair [always red with these P-Rs, seemingly], beautiful silks, cracked mirror (he plays with light cleverly on the cracks) and a sad, romantic story of said lady having to die because when Lancelot appears she can no longer obey the curse (?) she is under to only ever perceive the world via a mirror - she turns to look at him and in that instant is condemned to death (based on a poem by Tennyson)."
6. Elsewhere in the gallery, The Deluge by Winifred Knights (itself perhaps based on a huge Victorian painting of the same name in a room next door) was interesting as it seemed to presage the video footage of the Japanese tsunami of 2011.
There now - as you were.

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