Sabtu, 30 Oktober 2010

Heath Robinson

William Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) was an English cartoonist and illustrator, who signed himself W. Heath Robinson. He is best known for drawings of eccentric machines and "Heath Robinson" has entered the language as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contraption.
William Heath Robinson was born into a family of artists in Islington, London. His father and brothers Thomas Heath Robinson and Charles Robinson were all illustrators. His early career was as a book illustrator, for example in Hans Christian Andersen's Danish Fairy Tales and Legends (1897); The Arabian Nights, (1899); Tales From Shakespeare (1902), and Twelfth Night (1908), Andersen's Fairy Tales (1913), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1914), Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies (1915), and Walter de la Mare's Peacock Pie (1916).

In the course of this however he also wrote and illustrated two children's books, The Adventures of Uncle Lubin (1902) and Bill the Minder (1912); these are regarded as the start of his career in the depiction of unlikely machines. During the First World War he drew large numbers of cartoons, collected as Some "Frightful" War Pictures (1915), Hunlikely! (1916), and Flypapers (1919), depicting ever-more-unlikely secret weapons being used by the combatants.

In 1903 he married Josephine Latey, the daughter of newspaper editor John Latey. Heath Robinson moved to Pinner, Middlesex, in 1908. His house in Moss Lane is commemorated by a blue plaque. A project is now (2007) in hand to restore West House, in Memorial Park, Pinner, to house a Heath Robinson Collection.

Selasa, 26 Oktober 2010

Bluebell Railway

Yesterday, in glorious autumn sunshine, we visited The Bluebell Railway and experienced traveling on railways as it was many years ago (third class - we know our place).  And you know what they say – nostalgia’s not what it used to be. I’m posting a little photo-essay of the visit.

The Bluebell Railway is a heritage line running for nine miles along the border between East Sussex and West Sussex, England. Steam trains are operated between Sheffield Park and Kingscote, with an intermediate station at Horsted Keynes.

The railway is managed and run largely by volunteers. It has the largest collection of steam locomotives (30+) in the UK after the National Railway Museum, and a collection of almost 150 carriages and wagons (most of them from before or between the world wars), unrivalled in the south of England.

The Bluebell Railway was the first preserved standard gauge steam-operated passenger railway in the world to operate a public service, running the first train on 7 August 1960, shortly after the line from East Grinstead to Lewes had been closed by British Railways. The Bluebell Railway also preserved a number of steam locomotives even before the cessation of steam service on British mainline railways in 1968.

2007 marked the railway's 125th anniversary. 2009 marked the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society's 50th anniversary. 2010 marks the Bluebell's 50th anniversary of running services.

Minggu, 24 Oktober 2010

Damien Hirst - Pills

In the last of my mini-series on the works of Damien Hirst I am featuring his 'pill cabinets'. Each life-sized pill was cast in bronze and hand-painted by his studio workers. The first one shown here, 'Lullaby Spring' had 6,136 pills in it and sold at auction in 2007 for £9.65 million.
That kind of rules me out from buying one but I do like them.

'Six Pills'

'The Void'

Hirst also produced a series of limited edition jewelery featuring pills and tablets: cufflinks, silver bracelets (£15000), gold bracelets (£2500). No, I haven't got any of these either.

Kamis, 21 Oktober 2010

Damien Hirst - Butterflies

Damien Hirst produced another series of artworks that employed exotic butterfly wings adhered to gloss paint. The pieces are inspired by stained-glass windows, and some of them do have an ecclesiastical feel to them.
I'm rather ambivalent about the use of real butterflies in this way, but the point of Damien Hirst is to be provocative and challenging in his work, and they certainly work on that level. I would have to say that they are also rather beautiful in their own way - art museum pieces rather than one on my wall though.