Wednesday, 25 April 2012

RWA exhibitions.

The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol is showing a varied selection of exhibitions at the moment and we went especially to see  'Eric Ravilious: Going Modern/Being British.'

Ravilious (1903 - 42) was an artist and a designer. I grew up with his imagery about me and constantly see the landscape through his eyes. Traveling in the car and glimpsing a roll of hillside or a stand of trees, I say, "Look, it's a Ravilious!"
The watercolours in the exhibition are displayed in subdued lighting to prevent damage so the images seen here are taken from the RWA spring magazine (with apologies for wobbles and  poor  colour.) Although his work is so familiar to me I knew nothing about the artist himself. The quiet serenity of his work and the restrained use of colour had made me think of him as an elderly artist and I was therefore shocked to read that he had died at the age of thirty-nine. He was working as a War Artist during the Second World War when the plane that he was traveling in was lost.
'Dangerous Work.'

Another RWA exhibition, that again I could not photograph, this time for copyright reasons, was 'Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography.'

This is a touring show from the V&A's collection using around sixty images to reflect the key themes in fashion photography throughout the last hundred years. This young woman was making notes on the fabulous Irving Penn photo.
I itched to use my camera for all you fashion bloggers; there were hats by Isle Bing in 1934 for the Style Crone, Bettina Jones wearing a Schiaparelli swimsuit in 1928 for Dash, and for me , David Bailey, one of the 'Terrible Three', photographing his girlfriend Jean Shrimpton at his parents' house, 91, Heigham Road in London in 1961 - my era!

Do log on to the V&A website if you would like to see the photos.


  1. Great post. I often think of how many artists were employed in war services and went on to successful art careers upon their return home; many Canadian name artists got their start this way. It's sad that this man didn't make it back.

  2. It is interesting to contemplate how his work might have developed had he not died so young.