arthaus has recently welcomed three new art consultants; kelly RUTHERFORD, gemma GUPPY, and catherine DOWN. read on to find out more about our new starters!
Why not come into Arthaus Gallery and say hi to the team the next time you are in Richmond - we'd all love to meet you!
'THE GOOD, THE BAD AND ME' by Mackenzie Thorpe
MACKENZIE CITES THIS FILM AS A ONE OF HIS FAVOURITES. The story of a civil war veteran embarking on a journey to save his neice from an indian tribe.
Mackenzie see's western films as the bridge between childhood and adulthood, real men with lives of hardship, but exuding the freedom of a child.
The adventures of the masked hero and his Native American partner. this partnership showed collaboration between the traditionally rivalled cowboy & indian.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Mackenzie was strongly influenced by the film "Lust for Life" starring Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh, Mackenzie identified with the persona of the tortured soul that was Van Gogh.
LUST FOR LIFE
ON A SIDE NOTE....
ste- First blog post
sInce working at arthaus i've been blown away by mackenzie's change in style over time, and his continuing ability to come up with new ideas that connect with such a wide audience. I DECIDED TO TAKE A LOOK THROUGH SOME OF THE ARTIST PROOFS AND SAMPLE ARTWORKS FOUND IN OUR OFFICE. A LOT OF WHICH I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE AND THEY REALLY ILLUSTRATED THE QUIRKINESS FOUND IN MACKENZIES WORK.
As an artistic individual, i am constantly wanting to learn about those who successfully convey what they feel, through any medium, so it was fascinating to see the different styles and techniques an established artist explores. I WAS SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT THE MANY FAR REACHING STORIES WHICH INSPIRE THESE ARTWORKS.
(Clockwise from top left) 'Pigeons', 'First light', 'The big match', 'untitled'
mackenzie has noted ls lowry as one of his main influences when it comes to his crowds of football fans, or portraits of working-class people going about their daily lives.
the below piece 'VICTOR SLEEPING' IS ABOUT a giraffe from marwell zoo in hampshire. after his partner 'dribbles' died, he collapsed to the floor, tearing a calf muscle and never attempting to return to his feet. Despite people from all over the world sending letters of support and portsmouth dockyard workers creating a sling to help him to his feet, nothing worked. The grief stricken leopard-camel passed away in the arms of his keeper.
Below are the ever evasive mackenzie thorpe 'screaming heads'. some of my favourite works of his are the ones showing the more personal emotions of the artist. i found this photograph in a filing cabinet in our office.
untitled screaming head - mackenzie thorpe
MACKENZIE IS VERY INFLUENCED BY THE WORK OF FRANCIS BACON, WHO'S INTERESTS IN VIOLENCE AND ISOLATION resulted in his emotionally charged and raw imagery.
THIS GENRE OF MACKENZIE'S ARTWORK is a complete discourse from the works he is known and loved for.
'I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail leaving its trail of the human presence...' - fRANCIS BACON
Three Studies for Portrait of Lucian Freud - 1965 - francis bacon
I MET WITH ROB WILSON, THE WRITER OF 'THE D-DAY DODGERS' YESTERDAY FOR A QUICK CHAT SO YOU CAN GET TO KNOW A LITTLE ABOUT HIM! rhiannon
A QUICK INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOURSELF...
I WAS BORN IN GATESHEAD, SO I WAS EDUCATED ON TYNESIDE AND I WAS THE FIRST MEMBER OF MY FAMILY TO GO TO UNIVERSITY. I WENT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL IN NEWCASTLE AND TRAINED IN THE NORTHERN REGION AND I BECAME A SURGEON IN MIDDLESBROUGH WHERE I WAS FOR 25 YEARS... EVENTUALLY BECOMING MEDICAL DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE THERE.
FROM SURGERY TO PLAYWRITING... HOW?
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN THEATRE AND DRAMA AND PARTICULARLY MUSIC, AND WHEN I RETIRED FROM THE NHS I WAS PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO SET UP MY OWN PORTFOLIO OF ROLES AND JOBS TO DO. I WANTED TO WRITE SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT. I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW THAT THAT WAS GOING TO BE PLAYS, TO BE HONEST, I THOUGHT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SONGWRITING BUT THAT DIDN'T COME TO ME VERY EASILY, ALTHOUGH I'M STILL TRYING! ALSO, I'VE BEEN INTERESTED IN MILITARY HISTORY, I THINK PROBABLY BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS A SOLDIER IN WORLD WAR TWO AND A COMBINATION OF ALL THESE THINGS IS HOW THIS PLAY STARTED.....!
WHY THIS TOPIC?
I KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT THE EIGHTH ARMY... THAT IT HAD MOVED FROM AFRICA TO ITALY AND TO FRANCE - ALTHOUGH NO ACTION TAKES PLACE IN FRANCE IN THE PLAY.
I WAS WATCHING A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL- HE WAS A VERY TOUGH SOLDIER WHO HAD BEEN IN THE EIGHTH ARMY
HE TALKED TO SOMEBODY FOR ONLY A TINY BIT IN THE DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE EIGHTH ARMY AND THE SUBJECT WAS RAISED ABOUT THEM HAVING BEEN CALLED D-DAY DODGERS. THE INDIVIDUAL WAS ABLE TO TALK ABOUT ANYTHING WITHOUT LETTING ANYONE REALLY SEE HIS EMOTIONS BUT ON THAT SUBJECT HE WAS QUITE TEARFUL. I REALLY FELT QUITE MOVED BY THE INTERVIEW. THAT MADE ME MORE INTERESTED IN THE SUBJECT, AND THE MORE I READ ABOUT IT, THE MORE I FELT THERE WAS A VERY SIGNIFICANT INJUSTICE AND THAT WHAT HAD BEEN SAID WAS VERY UNFAIR. THEN I THOUGHT A PLAY WITH MUSIC, OR A MUSICAL REVIEW WOULD BE A GREAT VEHICLE FOR TRYING TO ADDRESS THAT.
HAVE YOU BASED ANY CHARACTERS AROUND THAT SOLDIER?
NO, NOT AT ALL ACTUALLY. I FELT THE OTHER CHARACTERS WOULD PLAY OFF EACH OTHER BETTER. IT WAS A GREAT OPENING FOR THE PROJECT AND SOMETHING THAT GAVE ME THE IMPETUS TO WRITE.
IF YOU WERE TO TAKE A SEAT IN THE ACTORS CHAIR, WHO WOULD YOU PLAY?
WELL, ONE OF THEM HAS A GEORDIE ACCENT, SO I CAN GET MY HEAD AROUND THAT QUITE EASILY. ALTHOUGH, I SUSPECT I'VE LOST A BIT OF THAT.. ALTHOUGH WHEN I GO BACK TO WHERE I CALL HOME, IT COMES BACK QUITE EASILY. SO I COULD DO THAT. ON THE OTHER HAND, I COULD PLAY THE OLDER OF THE TWO CHARACTERS. HE'S INTERESTED IN LEADERSHIP AND MUSIC SO I SORT OF IDENTIFY MYSELF WITH HIM A BIT.
DID YOU FIND YOURSELF BASING CHARACTERS ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
I USED ASPECTS OF PEOPLE I KNOW IN THE CHARACTERS, YES. BUT I COULDN'T SAY THAT THE CHARACTER REMINDS ME OF, OR IS REMINISCENT OF ANY INDIVIDUAL.
what's your FAVOURITE SONG IN THE PLAY?
I SUPPOSE MY FAVOURITE SONGS WERE ONE OF THE ONES MADE FAMOUS BY AL BOWLLY. EITHER 'LOVE IS THE SWEETEST THING' OR 'THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU'. THE REASON BEING, ONE OF MY FAVOURITE MODERN SINGERS IS RICHARD THOMPSON. HE WRITES A SONG ABOUT A TRAMP HE MEETS IN THE PARK AND THE TRAMP HAD A DIFFICULT TIME IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR BUT HIS FAVOURITE SINGER WAS AL BOWLLY.
-AL BOWLLY WAS KILLED IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR HAVING PLAYED A GIG SOMEWHERE AND INSTEAD OF STAYING WHERE WAS TOLD TO STAY, HE WENT HOME TO HIS FLAT IN LONDON AND HE WAS KILLED IN AN AIR RAID. HE WAS THOUGHT OF AS THE WORLDS FIRST POP-STAR , SO YOU SEE ALBUMS OF HIS NOW SAYING 'THE WORLDS FIRST POP STAR', AL BOWLLY.
RICHARD THOMPSON HAS THIS SONG WITH A VERY LONG TITLE 'AL BOWLLY'S IN HEAVEN BUT I'M IN LIMBO NOW' WHICH IS THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE TRAMP. RICHARD TELLS A STORY BEFORE HE SINGS IT AND BECAUSE OF THAT I THOUGHT I'D INTRODUCE AL BOWLLY INTO THE PLAY.
A FINAL THOUGHT...
WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT IT'S REALLY ABOUT IN SUMMARY, OLD FASHIONED WORDS COME TO MIND. WORDS LIKE HONOUR AND FAIRNESS CAME UP. SOME PEOPLE SMILE OR LAUGH OR THEY THINK IF YOU SAY SOMETHING'S NOT FAIR IT'S JUVENILE OR IMMATURE BECAUSE 'LIFE ISN'T FAIR'. BUT THAT SHOULDN'T STOP YOU FROM POINTING OUT THAT SOMEONE OR THEIR MEMORY IS BEING UNFAIRLY TREATED LIKE IN THE CASE OF SOLDIERS REFERRED TO AS "D-DAY DODGERS".
THE SOLDIERS BELIEVED THAT LOTS OF ACTIONS WITH A DEADLINE WERE D-DAYS. EVERYONE ACCEPTS THAT THE EVENTS WE ALL THINK OF NOW AS THE D-DAY IN FRANCE WERE ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL BUT THERE WERE OTHER VERY SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS CARRIED OUT ELSEWHERE TOO OF COURSE. I THOUGHT IT VERY UNFAIR TO REFER TO THEM AS ANYTHING BUT HEROES AND THAT'S WHY I PUT THE STRAP-LINE, AN 'ATTEMPT TO RIGHT A WRONG', I THOUGHT IT AFFECTED A LOT OF PEOPLE BADLY WHO HAVE DONE A LOT OF VERY HONOURABLE THINGS FOR THEIR COUNTRIES BEARING IN MIND THAT BRITISH, CANADIAN, AMERICAN AND OTHER SOLDIERS WERE INVOLVED NOT TO MENTION MEMBERS OF THE ITALIAN RESISTANCE. MORE THAN A MILLION PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN ITALY ALONE SO IT'S REALLY VERY SIGNIFICANT.
SO I FEEL IT'S ABOUT HONOUR, DUTY AND VALUES. I VALUE HONESTY AND FAIRNESS AND THAT'S REALLY WHY I WROTE IT.
if you would like to join us in showcasing 'the d-day dodgers', click here!