Sunday, 28 February 2010



On my list of things to do, at last made the effort to go to Islington, to see the Estorick Collection, because of my interest in showing movement in my art, my paintings and photographs. The emphasis of the collection is on Italian Futurists.

I urge you to along, its a lovely gallery. Easy to get to, from Highbury and Islington on the Victoria Line (tube), then a short walk.

Canonbury Square itself is worth the walk, as it is elegant, lined with what seems to be early 19th century town houses, with a grassy bit in the middle - but as it was raining (again!!!) I may have got this bit wrong, didn't stop long to look.
The gallery itself is in a town house, and you enter through the back door via a little patio garden where you can sit and have a coffee on a nice day.
There are specific exhibitions and a permanent collection.
A looked at the current exhbition: "On the Move, Visualising Action", from 13 January to 18 April 2010.

You can see a typical 18th century painting of a horse race at Newmarket, all the horses with legs spread out in the accepted manner of depicting galloping. I noticed that nearly all the spectators are on horseback too, and galloping along at the side, to keep up with the racers. A slightly later work done by American native people (don't know the politically correct way of referring to these groups) showed the horses in a much more lifelike way.

Loved the two lino cuts by Sybil Andrews and the two by Cyril Power (shown by courtesy of Osborne Samuel Ltd). The printmaker Sybil Andrews's work I have admired many times. Sledge Hammers, 1933 is particularly excellent.

In this gallery, there is a work by Giacomo Balla, 1912, called The Hand of the Violin.
The wedge shaped painting, in oil, shows the hand in at least five different positions, and the brush strokes are small, almost elongated dot-like and repetitive, in browns and yellows on a warm brown background, with just a little pale pink and green.

This particulary interested me because I had just been drawing the hands of a pianist, Tom Donald, the previous Wednesday evening.
Tom Donald plays with the Iota Group and Buckingham Band at Berties Wine Bar, Wimbledon. It was inspiration to see the painting and relate it to my efforts to capture the hand movements of him and of the two guitarists, and Mark Buckingham, who plays the sax.

Throughout this house, in each of the six galleries, there are beautiful wooden benches, which looked hand-made and hand carved. The theme suggests the 20s or 30s style, almost Art Deco. The gallery attendent (I think they are all volunteers) told me the benches were made by somebody called Edge, and are much admired by visitors.


There is useful information in each gallery about the exhibits. In particular I noted the famous photograph by Lartique called Bichonnade Leaping 1905, and work by Siskind, 1954, called Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation - 4 images.

Harold Edgerton has photos on show, including Swirls & Eddies - Tennis, 1939 and several earlier photographs.

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