Tuesday, 31 January 2017
On Saturday I popped into the museum for the opening of the exhibition. I was late and missed that, missed the boring speeches, missed the cheap red wine, missed the cakes, so I went home again before I didn't miss the washing up.
Today the first thing I did was wash up the left over cups!
The thing about art exhibitions is the people that this attracts. Tuesday mornings, especially dreich damp ones, are usually quiet however by not long after ten thirty I had dealt with ten people already! So it continued, art lovers, both local and distant arrived and will continue to arrive in their droves as long as the exhibition lasts.
When doing the war memorial it was clear most of the men in the village were agricultural labourers, horsemen or stockmen. It is no wonder that after three or four thousand years of such work the men took the chance to move to Canada or Australia for a better life! What future would there be unless you found an exceptional talent and the opportunity to use it?
No doubt that also enabled many to enlist in 1914. Several volunteered and occasionally one or two were already in the army,the temptation of regular pay and the opportunity to see the world too strong for some. In those days the army was a rough place to be but at least there was the chance to be rough in India or China, Africa or some other hot exciting spot. The fact that you might get shot didn't loom high at that moment.
In the late twenties when Bawden and Rivellious arrived the village would have been a quiet retreat from the big market town. The small village surrounded by fields would, in the Spring, offer a delightful opportunity for painters to wallow in country living and express this on their canvasses. Quite what the farm labourers really thought as they slugged away at twenty tons of potatoes or turnip while some chap drew sketches of them i cannot say. I know what might have crossed my mind however.
We have this exhibition on until April 15th so I expect to be an expert on these men and those who followed them by then. Just listening to the folks this morning was interesting, though few of them bought much from the books and cards we have on offer however! Bah!