All posts by Alan Beckett

Vacant space occupied in idyllic landscape

So, it is with sculpture occupying idyllic landscape. It adds considerable enhancement. It gives us something to think about, to consider, to contemplate, to form an opinion on, to seek further reference, to compare and contrast, to add to our body of experience and knowledge. Where would we be without sculpture?

Gormley and Caro Roche Court

The New Art Centre Roche Court near Salisbury Wiltshire is a breath-taking open air sculpture park set within the dramatic hills of southeast Wiltshire. Gormley and Caro Roche Court It is a pure joy to wander through the gardens against the backdrop of the stunning landscape and enjoy the spaces occupied by the modern and contemporary works of art. In 2019 on BBC Radio 4, Antony Gormley spoke of sculpture changing the real world, being no longer a mere reference to it and no longer dependent upon it. Sculpture doesn’t need a wall, a room or even a label to exist. Its presence occupies its own space and thus it can alter people’s behaviour. Gormley and Caro Roche Court Cast your mind to some of the world’s most dramatic and successful architecture and sculpture. Consider the landscape, the room even: … Continue reading Gormley and Caro Roche Court

William Morris Sölvi Helgason

Did Jane Morris’s and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s affair have an influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement? … Affair of Ice and Arts … William Morris Sölvi Helgason Was William Morris influenced by the Icelander Sölvi Helgason to enhance his designs? … Affair of Ice and Arts Did Morris’s trips to Iceland uniquely enhance his designs and influence the Arts and Crafts Movement? … Affair of Ice and Arts First of all the Players – a whistle-stop … Sölvi Helgason (1820-1895) A drifter, a folk artist, a philosopher, that was Sölvi Helgason. He was born on a farm called Fjall in Sléttuhliíð in the eastern part of Skagafjörður Iceland on August 16, 1820 (and lived to the age of 75 which wasn’t bad for those days in that locality). He is known to have travelled extensively across the island but apparently without … Continue reading William Morris Sölvi Helgason

Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet

Davíðshúis – Home of Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet Davíð Stefánsson 1895 – 1964, was Iceland’s leading poet and novelist publishing many volumes of his poetry. He lived many years in this house in Akureyri northern Iceland and on his death the property was bequeathed to the municipality. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. The interior has been left a though he had just popped into town for a recital or milk and bread. 1000’s of books adorn the walls. His records are still in place. His bathroom and bedroom are preserved as original as is his kitchen, study and living room. In fact, the only major change is the bed. A single bed replacing his large double bed where upon he ‘entertained’ the many women folk whose company he enjoyed and allegedly the feeling was mutual. Adoring a … Continue reading Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet

Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland

Ásgrímur Jónsson (March 4, 1876 – April 5, 1958) was an Icelandic painter, and one of the first in the country to make art a professional living. Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland He studied at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen between 1900 and 1903 and travelled widely after graduation. The subjects of his pictures are mostly the landscapes of his home country, particularly mountains. His painting style is similar to the French impressionists like Corot. Some of his pictures also illustrate Icelandic sagas and folk tales. (Source Wikipedia) Visiting his house in Reykjavik introduced me to this interesting and quite unique artist. Despite being trained in Copenhagen, he retained independent from the contemporary European art scene. He concentrated on recognising the haunting landscape of his native country. A local businessman and entrepreneur and art collector Ragnar Jonsson, said of Ásgrímur: “he did not paint subjects from life, he painted primal energy, the climate and governing sources – … Continue reading Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland

Majesty of Iceland in Art

Visiting Iceland is always a joy, especially when visiting its outstanding galleries of art and museums. … Majesty of Iceland in Art The National Gallery of Iceland is an excellent case in point. This gallery prides itself on exhibiting traditional works through to modern contemporary and conceptual art. In this article I’m going to simply take a wander through an exhibition I visited recently that looked at requisitions from a local business person and collector Ragnar Jonsson who was most interested in art works depicting the emerging independent state of Iceland. So let’s take a wander … Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into … Continue reading Majesty of Iceland in Art