In The News

‘Battle to save quirky house that nobody knew about until owner’s death’

“𝖨 𝖳𝖧𝖨𝖭𝖪 𝖳𝖧𝖠𝖳’𝖲 𝖮𝖭𝖤 𝖮𝖥 𝖳𝖧𝖤 𝖳𝖧𝖨𝖭𝖦𝖲 𝖳𝖧𝖠𝖳 𝖠𝖳𝖳𝖱𝖠𝖢𝖳𝖲 𝖬𝖤
to outsider art: you feel like you’re seeing art in a purer, more primal form. An environment takes it to a different level. There’s a complete, one hundred percent commitment to whatever vision they’ve got because they’re sleeping it. They’re eating in it. And that’s quite a thing to behold. With environments like these, you get a complete work of art that somebody is living in and that they’ve established the rules. It’s like a personal universe.”

Inspiration

‘Every medium has its own language’

“I used to only want to be a painter. That was it for me. I ended up at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and I was in this little cubicle in our big shared studio one night around ten o’clock. I was painting a three-foot square of a garden at night. It was mostly black with some green coming out. I sat back—probably to take a smoke—and I looked at the painting. I heard this wind coming from the painting and the green started to move. I said, ‘Oh, a moving painting,’ and that led me to cinema.”

Painting

Claude Monet’s The Church at Varengeville

Claude Monet’s painting The Church at Varengeville
Claude Monet’s The Church at Varengeville (1882)

The blazing Romanticism of this gold, green and purple visionary scene belies any misconception that Monet simply painted what he saw or was a relaxed celebrant of leisure. Even the morally fervent Victorian critic Ruskin might have been moved if he’d seen that medieval church glowing on its hilltop in the mystical sun. He would have seen this as a religious work, and perhaps it is. Monet steps out from behind his easel, to share deep emotions with us. He uses colour expressively, dives imaginatively into this spectacular piece of Normandy coastline where a deep gorge separates us from the church. Does that abyss symbolise a gulf between him and God, or between modern life and a simpler past? This is a sublime revelation of Monet’s inner turbulence.
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham