Saturday, 5 September 2009

Art – JW Waterhouse and The Pitmen Painters

We went to the theatre to see The Pitmen Painters today. On the way we caught the JW Waterhouse exhibition the RA. Waterhouse is one of the best known Pre-Raphaelites: many of his pictures are very familiar:

All Waterhouse’s women seem to have the same expression – perhaps he only had one model!

The Pitmen Painters was great. It is written by Lee Hall of Billy Elliot fame and has some common threads with that tale. It’s based on a true story of a group of miners from near Newcastle who in 1935 start painting as part of a WEA Art Appreciation class. Several of them were undoubtedly very talented but they continued to go down the mine, painting only as a pastime. Like Billy Elliot, it is a story of development of hidden talent in people of unexpected background. The play is very light-hearted but also very moving. They project many images of the miners’ paintings during the play. Unfortunately there are no images on the web – only the small ones on the website of the Ashington group, the trust that now owns them:

The play is touring the UK soon and there is talk of a west end transfer: if you get a chance, do go and see it.

Back to Waterhouse: there was a wonderful St Cecilia: perhaps the RA would loan it to us if we dedicated Little Hampden Church to her!

I've put some links in the 'links' panel to the right.

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