Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Club Man


Club Man (Oil on board, 4 x 3 ins)

I sometimes get a bit irritated at the continued success of local painters who, inspired by Norman Cornish's example, make a name for themselves by painting old men in flat caps, whippets and decrepit terraces with snot-nosed kids playing in the street. Cornish still paints scenes of Spennymoor as if the pits were still operating, but he's now almost 90 and entitled to go on making pictures of how life was when he was young.

However, the north east of England really isn't like that any more and what Cornish's pasticheurs are pandering to is a feeling of nostalgia. And as we all know, nostalgia's not what it used to be.

When I was tugging on the portfolios of drawings, this little panel fell out. In 2002, I must have felt that if I couldn't beat them I should join them, so I painted this panel to show it could be done. This old gadgie was an echo of how things were when I first started drinking.

2 comments:

ian gordon said...

Considering Nottingham's roots in coal mining and lace factories, I'm always surprised there's a total lack of similar "trouble at t'mill" type works in the galleries here. (Not that I'd want to paint them).

The most established gallery / shops in the county still go for fishing boats on a shoreline (this being the Midlands), or Labradors. The inner city places seem keen to take more of a "contemporary risk", which is good if the work is good. Often it's not.

On reflection I'd quite like to see an exhibition involving flat caps, racing pigeons, and miner's lanterns, with beer to be supped at half time. It would make such a refreshing change.

harrybell said...

You're welcome to my share of flat caps & whippets, Ian, but we'll have to share the beer!