Blake Morrison in Brussels - *Writer Blake Morrison spoke to the thriving Brussels Brontë Group recently. Helen McEwan sent us this report, which also appears on our sister blog - the ...
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A homage to one of Yorkshire’s great literary families, the Brontës, has been donated to a Harrogate gallery as it celebrates the work of the only Royal Academician to come from the Yorkshire Dales.Sonia Lawson RA: Paintings, Passions and Alarms (November 14 2015 – February 7 2016) is described by the Mercer Art Gallery curator Jane Sellars like this on Curator's Choice:
Painter Sonia Lawson, who was born and raised in Wensleydale, was elected into the Royal Academy in 1982.
She has donated Teatime at Haworth with the Brontës to Mercer Art Gallery, which is showing a collecting of her works from the 1980s until February 7.
The show forms a major retrospective of Lawson’s work, with the piece holding special resonance for the gallery as 2016 is the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, curator Jane Sellars said.
“Sonia Lawson is one of this country’s most significant artists. Sonia was born in 1934 and is outstanding in her achievements as a woman artist of that generation,” she added.
I particularly love the paintings that Sonia was inspired to create by a visit she made to the Brontë Parsonage museum in 1981 with her mother, Muriel, and daughter, Zoe.Homage to Emily Brontë. Night-Writing (1981) is another tribute to the Brontës found in the exhibition. Of course, Jane Sellars is the author of The Art of the Brontës and former curator on the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Sonia had, of course, been to the Haworth before in her childhood, but here she is in her 50s being bowled over by the Brontës and filling huge canvass with these extraordinary figures emerging from the darkness. Moorland Benediction is about dreaming, night time vigils, and writing, reading and praying in the dark.
Sonia’s mother, the artist Muriel Metcalfe, had a habit of reading, writing and drawing at night time, just as the Brontë sisters were reputed to have done, getting the most creativity that they could squeeze out of their day.
Name your favourite Yorkshire book/author/artist/CD/performer (just one of them!)? Past: Wuthering Heights of course. Present: Yorkshire’s Strangest Tales – an amusing little reference book, penned by a good pal of mine.The Guardian publishes an excerpt from Joanna Biggs's All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work:
What we do for money seems like the essential but dull part of our lives – in tired phrases such as ‘work–life balance’, work is set against life, as if it were life’s opposite – but it’s also where we make friends, exert power, pass the time, fall in love, give back, puff ourselves up, get bored, play, backstab, bully and resist. And as the days slide by, it changes us almost unobserved. Jane Eyre goes to Thornfield Hall as a governess but by the end of the book, she’s its mistress. Brontë’s novel is on one hand a love story: a plain, far-seeing girl gets beneath the rough surface of her master. On the other it’s a Bildungsroman: a friendless orphan’s work gives her the confidence to brave the rattling attic.The latest collection by fashion designer Veronique Branquinho is under Vogue's radar:
Which brings me to the cat prints in Veronique Branquinho’s latest collection. The designer is not much known for graphic prints, to say nothing of ones featuring cats. Sure, these were black cats—Siamese ones, at that—but still. You’d be tempted to write off these admittedly good-looking pieces as a weird sidebar in Branquinho’s career, were it not for the fact that there was something indeed very uncanny about them—specifically, the way that she had embedded them into an Escher-ish check that made you look twice, lest your mind was playing tricks on you. Are those . . . cats? That moment of ellipsis was, again, an uncanny one. Branquinho’s gothic game is strong. Like, Brontë-esque. (Maya Singer)Shifter (Portugal) reviews the new film of António-Pedro Vasconcelos Amor Impossível:
Inspirado pelo magnum opus de Emily Brontë, APV retrata, literariamente e com qualidade, a realidade dos jovens afastados na cultura e costumes, mas aproximados pelos livros e paixão. (Henrique Mota Lourenço) (Translation)Romantic's Society reviews Wuthering Heights 2009; All Ears is exploring Jane Eyre.