The Hampshire Cultural Trust opened their Capability Brown show last week at Winchester Discovery Centre & Gallery. The exhibition? Not one but TWO, between which is the central atrium where on 31st I set up the second Brown clay to continue to develop it amidst library users. The feedback was useful – some were interested to see how such sculpture develops whilst others gave genuine comments on their feeling on the developing clay in comparision to the few visual documents we have to create it.
Later, the Trust’s Ambassadors event opened to toast the new exhibition and hear from Gilly Drummond, Alan Titchmarsh and Trust chairman Alan Lovell.
Alan Titchmarsh was intrigued about the similarities in the painted portraits after his experiences with the Belvoir TV series. Below, HCT Chief Executive Janet Owen discussing the terracotta of ‘The Northumbrian’ and the first Brown experiment [here looking up at Mr. Titchmarsh…]
Some useful feedback of the second clay (the first photo) included observation of the lack of hair mass on the reverse side (i.e. the bit I have no information for), a feeling of a slightly academic portrait (i.e. perhaps slightly ‘finer’ than the more florid, solid imagery coming through the painted portraits)… and that the mouth felt about right.
The first clay, in the lower part of the second photo, was generally seen to be slightly caricatured, which fits with its quick build up. It was useful to stop its build up at that point to start afresh, rather than continually rework it.
I understand that the Cosway portrait of Brown may be on display at Hampton Court this summer; it will be intruiging to compare its dimensions relative to the Dances.
The completed clay will emerge at Stowe School at the end of May.
The Brown exhibitions are free and run until 12th June: Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street SO23 8SB. For more information on the Hampshire Cultural Trust, see here.
images: HCT/Lena Samuels