WEEK EIGHTEEN -Edwin Landseer/Joan Eardley

>> Edwin Landseer

 Joan Eardley <<

landseer                     eardley

Landscape and the natural world have always been attractive subjects to Scottish artists. The work of the two painters we feature here would seem to be as diametrically opposed as possible, yet there are links which we believe tie them together. Closely associated with high-Victorian art – and with that period’s romantic obsession with the Highlands – Sir Edwin Henry Landseer is perhaps best known for paintings such as The Stag at Bay and The Monarch of the Glen, which would have done the walls of any hunting lodge proud. A stalwart of British imperialism, he was also the sculptor of the lions in Trafalgar Square and a portraitist of the royal family at Balmoral. At the opposite extreme from imperialist certainties is Joan Eardley. Best known for her sympathetic portraiture of street children in the Glasgow slums, she is also lauded for the powerful landscapes and seascapes she painted around the Aberdeenshire village of Catterline. Her ability to combine the acute, uncompromising painter’s eye with sympathy and understanding has seen her work gaining ever more recognition since her early death in 1963, aged 42. While both artists were born in England, they turned their individual eye on Scotland as they saw it, although the outcome of each was very much grounded in their ability to see beyond the surface. We leave it to the reader to decide which is which.

 


Landseer’s Hunted Stag
by Tariq Latif

from the crashing torrents
sounds of clashing swords

crofters and commoners evicted

for the game – for the sake of the few
a ruthless clearance of the wild

         *

cold clear water
water clear and cold
full of fools gold
full of a monarch’s fight
all hooves and antlers
a frenzied heart
stop-start     stop-start

         *

through the clatter of torrents
sounds of steel wheels
turning
                  on train tracks
and they’re back
                                  the aristocrats
their shiny black guns
their brand new hats

their hungry hounds
starved of meat – mad for meat
pounding the ground
                                            in rabid fury

         *

his desperate eyes,
burning like fireworks
bewildered    resigned    disbelieving
the icy incisors
gouging his flesh
slicing vital threads

         *

a hidden moon – a hidden torment
a troubled mind love denied
raises the palette knife
smears the snout with moonlight
his fatalistic belief

 

Storm In A Teacup Catterline
by Dawn Wood

I lost the horizon
my face was smudged with ochre, violet,
charcoal on the heel of my hand

poverty pushed very far –
a sudden sun
how the dust motes celebrate –

if you look – particles of fabric,
one crinkled hair, twirling, like a smile –
dancing in a snow-globe.

What is there to do, but light
the things that crave attention –
chalk dust, a hole in a beehive,

the daisy-eyes of little Pat,
her sisters and the boys,
round faces that blossom;

I push my pram of paint
into the street that noticing creates
a hopscotch path of now –

feet planted – now and now!
the stir of sun –
I swoop with the heel of my hand

once for the cloud
once for the field
storm in a teacup Catterline

 


Biographies 

tariq latif picTariq Latif was born in Pakistan. A graduate of Sheffield University, he worked in Manchester for fifteen years and now lives in Argyll. His three full collections include Punjabi Weddings (Arc, 2007), and his work has featured on BBC radio and television. His pamphlet Smithereens was published in 2015 and is short listed for the Callum MacDonald memorial prize.

 

Dawn Wood 2016Dawn Wood lives in Longforgan, Perthshire, working as a hypnotherapist and an artist. Her poetry collections, published with Templar Poetry, include Quarry (2008), Ingathering (2013), and Declaration (2016). www.arkandapple.co.uk

 

 


Images courtesy of;
https://cedaniela.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/1-copy.jpg
https://www.nationalgalleries.org/media/42/collection/2013AA52669.jpg
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