Friday, July 28, 2017

Sue Williams A’Court

This blog is guilty of regularly featuring glorious artwork from long-dead artists, but sometimes, just sometimes, it ventures into the land of the living [artist].

Sue Williams A'Court for example, is an artist whose work is very much inspired by those from the eighteenth century.  Her paintings are reminiscent of Gainsborough landscape prints and I am particularly reminded of them when I look at A'Court's pastoral trees.  Her most recent series blends famous portraits with natural formations.  In the spirit of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the sixteenth-century painter who formed heads out of vegetables, A'Court transforms tufts of Arcadian landscape into imagery reminiscent of famous portraits.  See if you can pick out the portraits from these works.

After the Duchess of Devonshire

After the Hon Mrs Graham

After Marie Antoinette

The Escape fro Eden series will be exhibited at START Saatchi Gallery, London, 14-17th of September. Her work is currently on view at 'Only Connect' Curated by Prof. David Remfry RA Royal Academy The Keepers House.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Decay of Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Gordon in northern (and rather remote Scotland) was considered to be the largest building of Scotland in the eighteenth century. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle grew, and grew, and grew.  The home-loving Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, husband to Jane, Duchess of Gordon, added to the baronial home considerably until Gordon Castle was more of a Scottish Versailles. However, after his son died without an heir, transferring the Dukedom to the Duke of Richmond (who was quite happily settled in his own massive mansion, Goodwood) the castle gradually fell into disrepair. Leaky roofs forced much of these eighteenth-century additions to be demolished after which the once-grand Castle was all but forgotten. Luckily, after the second World War Lieutenant General Sir George Gordon Lennox, grandson of the 7th Duke of Richmond, took an interest in his ancestral home and began the restoration process which has continued into today. Gordon Castle, as it exists now, is only 1/8th of what existed in Jane, Duchess of Gordon's day. A wing, is now the central house, and the castle's formidable tower remains standing. The castle has been transformed into a hotel (and one that makes gin!) so it is once again open to visitors from afar.