Thursday, August 04, 2011

Back to the 50s

The Festival of Britain is a vague memory for me, one of primary colours, earnest and worthy displays which bored a 9 year old. I can't imagine, or rather I can, why I wasnt' allowed all the fun of the fair at Battersea, but I can only remember the Skylon and trudging through endless educational exhibitions.

 This mural by John Piper was one of the many artworks commissioned for the Festival, celebrating a revival of spirit after the austerity of the war. It is called The Englishman's Home and is currently displayed in the underwhelming surrounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Piper was past his abstraction phase when he produced these images of what he saw as archetypal English homes. Brighton and Hove are there, castles, cottages, villas.

So last week I went to see it, as it is so rarely displayed. Despite being in a dull place with the ceiling vents or something intruding it was well worth the visit. Originally it was on the outside of the Homes & Gardens pavilion.

I can't say I remember it, but am glad to have caught up with it, and it will serve as a useful comparison with a Lanyon mural.

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