We had a couple of extra drop in sessions at Sweet Arts before the 4Women Centre closed for the summer. On 22nd, we talked about seeing Francis Bacon at the Sainsbury Centre the previous week. It was dark, literally and in the sense of contact with Bacon’s psyche. A feeling of going deeper and deeper into the darkness as you moved through the exhibition, away from light and the outside of the building, disorientating. The pink triptych was disturbing, the vicious way Bacon painted the women’s bodies against the pink background made one person feel ill, it went straight in to her unconscious. She left the session feeling very disturbed, had to take a Diazepam and lie down to sleep.
FRANCIS BACON 1909–1992 Studies for the Human Body 1970 Oil on canvas Private collection, courtesy Ordovas This work dates from a period recognised as a high point in Bacon’s work in the large-scale triptych format. While the bold expanse of a single colour recalls the so-called great decorations of Matisse, such as the Nymph and the Satyr, 1909, located nearby, the three truncated and distorted naked figures recall more sculptural concerns and the treatment of bodies in the work of Rodin. During this period Bacon expressed his desire to work in sculpture, although, he said, “I haven’t done it yet because each time I want to do it I get the feeling that perhaps I could do it better in painting.”
MATISSE 1869–1954 Nymph and Satyr 1908–1909 Oil on canvas The State Hermitage, St Petersburg, 2014 As one of the greatest painters of the century, who dealt with a number of the themes that were central also to Bacon, Matisse was perhaps subliminally influential on Bacon’s mature oeuvre. The use of flat expanses of colour, powerfully simplified and distorted form, aggressively direct draftsmanship, and focus on the body in interior space were the central elements of commonality. Nymph and Satyr was commissioned by Sergey Shchukin, the famous Russian collector. The expressionistic brightness of tone is characteristic of Matisse’s work, but more unusual is the overt, almost menacing, sensuality.
We talked about home and awayness, what is home and what is away? It’s a battle sometimes of you against you, even in a fairly safe place. Home a place you don’t feel safe to leave, or isn’t safe to stay. Maybe it isn’t a place, maybe it’s where people you love are. A home on the coast, the beach up against the sea and nowhere to go, paranoia growing out of an abusive childhood, embarrassing parents. While we talked, people worked on their giant postcards, drew, or just hung out. On 29th July people dropped in and stayed for different lengths of time. There was a lot going on with daughters, at home and away. We drew a still life constructed in the middle of the table, using pastel crayon, charcoal and thick black marker: 5 minutes and move to the right, to draw on the piece of paper left behind; 5 minutes passing the paper to the right; 5 minutes drawing blind then passing it anti-clockwise; 1 minutes drawing blind and passing clockwise. Now we break until we meet again at the Sainsbury Centre on Wednesday 9th September. Meanwhile Sweet Arts is busy, not at the 4Women but out and about in North Norfolk.
We are really proud to announce that the beautiful ‘CUSHIONS’ produce by the talented team on the RECREATE, RECYCLE, RECOVER project can now be purchased in the following outlets: GLORY DAYS, HOPPERS YARD, HOLT – pop-up -shop SATURDAY 1st AUGUST 10am to 5pm AND ongoing from Monday 3rd August in these great shops across North Norfolk: THE HARE & MOON GALLERY, ALBY CRAFTS, ALBY DAVENPORT DAUGHTER, CHAPEL YARD, HOLT LE STRANGE OLD BARN & ANTIQUES, GOLF COURSE ROAD, OLD HUNSTANTON COASTAL COUNTRY, 2 EMMAS COURT, BURNHAM MARKET DEEPDALE & DALGATE MARKET, BURNHAM DEEPDALE – pop-up – shop 1st to 6th October. CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN – raising funds for this project http://igg.me/at/SweetArts-RRR/x/7991318