Rediscovered 1982 Final Show

Unemployment in the United Kingdom increases by 129,918 to 3,070,621, a post-war record number. Thatcher! (The year Mark Thatcher got lost in the desert).
February 19 – The DeLorean Motor Company Car Factory in Belfast is put into receivership.
February 28 – Adobe Systems was founded
April 2 – The Falklands War begins: Argentina invades and occupies the Falkland Islands
June 6 The 1982 Lebanon War begins: Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invade southern Lebanon in their “Operation Peace for the Galilee,” eventually reaching as far north as the capital Beirut.
June 14 – Falklands War: Argentine forces in the capital, Stanley, conditionally surrender to British
June 19 – The body of “God’s Banker”, Roberto Calvi, chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, is found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London. The first emoticon posted 🙂 The first computer virus, infecting Apple II computers by floppy disk. Italy win the World Cup in Spain, Aston Villa win the European Cup, E.T. is released.

All of this happened in 1982, when I had my Final Show in the Hatton Gallery at Newcastle University throughout June.

there are more images in the gallery under the tab.

A child plucking a rose

Maquettes for ‘a child plucking a rose’

The maquettes serve as sketches, experiments towards resolving ideas for a transcription of Caspar Netscher’s 1669 painting in the Wallace Collection. The key points of the work are the child, her hands, the rose and the colour of the dress. In particular because these reflect the content of Netscher’s young woman playing a guitar, widely regarded as a companion piece – the dresses are the same style, and the same colour in essence (the catalogue descriptions of the colour are different).

Of the issues to resolve the most prominent is the translation from 2d to 3d, the invention of the reverse face and the 360 degree view. The maquettes sketch out various options for this without presuming to provide a specific solution. If they provide anything that is taken into the final piece it is a series of gestures when building that scale up into a solution. If a maquette were a pure scale model it would be given to someone else to build. They might better be described as practice for the process of building.

As the series grows the problem becomes the juxtaposition of the dress, representing the child, and the rose. How to place the rose in a position to be picked. The pieces use clay, acrylic sheet, paper, cardboard, wood fence panels, wire, acetate and drawn elements to solve these problems.

Transcription continued

Continuing to work on the transcription of Caspar Netscher’s ‘a child plucking a rose’.

There is a third macquette underway and I have ordered 7.5 kg of air drying clay to develop more. The scope of the transcription grows, as all work inevitably does, as it progresses. I was reminded of James Joyce’s ‘on a flower given to my daughter’ from Pomes Penyeach.

Frail the white rose and frail are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time’s wan wave.

Rosefrail and fair — yet frailest
A wonder wild
In gentle eyes thou veilest,
My blueveined child.

Obviously the connection with ‘Rosefrail’ but also, and for my own reference, the Imaginary Daughters project. Of which more later.



A project with the Wallace Collection and Barnsley Museums, in particular Cannon Hall where there is a collection of Dutch paintings. This macquette is for a sculptural transcription of Caspar Netscher’s 1669 oil on oak panel ‘a child plucking a rose’. Very early stages of this project. There will be an exhibition of students work at Cannon Hall during 2018 paralleling a loan collection from the Wallace.

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