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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Erik Burnett-Godfree's Talk on Friday 22nd November at 8pm

Erik Burnett-Godfree provided just the sort of enthusiasm we were looking for in at 8pm on a Friday night, the numbers had by the time of the talk swelled from 40 for the AGM, to more like 70 for Erik's talk. He began by setting the date, the 22nd of November in history, it's St. Celia's day, and also the anniversary of the death of JFK, Aldous Huxley and CS Lewis, and several other things.
Erik then rapidly rattled through his CV before moving on to our 'fantastic collection of 20th Century British art.

He outlined the role played by three key people in acquiring the collection: Harold Jolliffe, Borough Librarian from 1946-68 who thought in 1963, it was time we had an art gallery in Swindon. James Bomford, after loaning the greater part of his collection to Harold Jolliffe, announced he was giving it to Swindon. The third person mentioned was Richard Morphet, long associated with the Tate Gallery, firstly as a curator, later as Keeper of the Modern Collection, he advised on acquisitions for 30-40 years. He was given a small purchase fund, and went shopping for modern work produced by artists creating reputations.
One of the conundrums now is how we can afford to fill in the gaps in the collection, one way would be to encourage works to be gifted by collectors who would like their works to sit among our collection.
Erik went on to look at particular paintings in detail and talk about his admiration and fascination with them; including  Ben Nicholson's 'Compostion in Black and White' 1933 and
LS Lowry's long line of people entitled 'A Procession'.

Edward Wadsworth's 'Bright Intervals' seen above is a particular favourite of Erik's, it's a super realistic painting with many contradictions.
John Hoyland's application of paint in 'Trickster' is in complete contrast to Wadsworth's smooth application.
 The final painting he talked about was Maggie Hambling's 'Descent of the Bull's Head'.

After the entertaining and informative talk, we anticipated thanks from Paul Ricketts, but there was added excitement in the shape of Mike Pringle who had nominated Erik Burnett-Godfree for a  Swindon Does Arts Hero Award.
Here he is rather far away receiving the award.
And afterwards holding it in his right hand and moving too quickly, so he and Mike are blurry.
Lastly, I have included 3 photos which give an impression of the numbers of people who attended the talk last Friday. It was a great evening, our thanks again to Erik for coming along and inspiring so many.

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