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Showing posts from May, 2017

That Wondrous Pattern

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When I was at school, a friend encouraged me to read both the poems and the (three volumes) of autobiography of the poet and Blake scholar, Kathleen Raine. By one of those happenings of synchronicity, I had come to her work simultaneously whilst looking, in my local library, for someone who could help me understand Blake - the poet I was reading so compulsively, haunted yet with little conscious understanding. I had found her collection of essays, 'Blake and the New Age' and had devoured them as they illuminated a landscape from which I have never since retreated.

When subsequently I saw, as a student, a copy of Temenos (its second edition), a journal she edited on arts and the imagination, I struck up a four year correspondence that culminated with our first meeting.

This was at the first Temenos Conference at Dartington Hall in 1986. I remember standing close by whilst she carried out a conversation with another participant, hovering uncertain as to what to say as an introv…

Leonora Carrington: art and fulfilment

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The Old Maids by Leonora Carrington
A prophet is not without honour save in their own country. 
Leonora Carrington as an artist has a journey to go before she is recognised as one of the most significant English artists of the twentieth century. She is significantly resonant not least because she resolutely, as any English eccentric ought, was a determined follower of her own path.
This course is admirably described in Joanna Morehead's 'The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington'. Morehead had an advantage in coming to know the artist in the final years of her life (though that advantage was not immediately apparent) for being Leonora's cousin. It was not apparent as advantage because Leonora had resolutely walked out on her parents' expectations in 1937 when defiantly going to live with Max Ernst in Paris. Ernst's artistic status were of no interest to her parents more important was that he was a foreigner, poor and married. These were characteristics that count…