Getting a slight touch of cabin fever here on the snowy Bere Peninsula, no buses for a couple of days and the first post for three just hit the doormat, chocolate supplies low but not yet critical. All of which means of course that I should be taking the opportunity to work solidly and get on with things, which I am, sort of. 'The First of the Few' painting I was planning in the previous post has morphed into a diptych which is still in progress leaving 'The Man in the White Suit' on hold for the moment as I've decided to concentrate on a series which I'm hoping will form the core of an exhibition (hopefully as part of the British Art Show 7 Fringe next year). I have a title for the show 'The Demi-Paradise' (after the 1943 Laurence Olivier film here http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0035793/) and the central premise (conceit if you will) is that all the paintings are derived from British wartime movies.
It might not feel like it to anyone who grew up on a Sunday afternoon television diet of 'The Dambusters' and 'The Colditz Story' but during the war years themselves the British film industry (at least compared to the Americans) made few films where combat was central to the story, preferring to produce a vision of an England and its people (and it was almost exclusively England) rooted in a bucolic agrarian past yet able to adapt to change and to summon a steely resistance to outside threats. Many were more than just propaganda however and revealed a real ambiguity about the status quo and attitudes to class.The obvious examples are probably 'Went the Day Well', when the local squire turns out to be a fifth columnist or Eric Portman's genuinely creepy turn in 'A Canterbury Tale', both movies which that bastion of unquestioning Britishness 'The Daily Mail' has given away as freebies in the last couple of years (not big on irony or self awareness the 'Mail'). 'Tawny Pipit' is one movie that I've had to track down on DVD from Australia (rather than as a bootleg) and is unlikely to be given away by the 'Mail' anytime soon, it's the only time you are ever likely to see the inhabitants of an English village lustily belting out 'The Internationale' whilst waving Soviet flags, and all in a film about green issues before there ever was such a term. Can't wait for it to turn up!
In the meantime here's a youtube video made by an American fan of the film who also manages to rather miss the point with the music, enjoy ...
Work in progress and other stuff that happens.