Aug 5, 2010

Michael Stanger

1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2010 E17 Art Trail?

I am currently working on and around one of my recurring themes, namely Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, but with some difficulty, trying as I am to produce an abstraction of such a well-known figure composition without using life-models, which would be an obvious solution, were I able to get someone to pose for me. Being practical the easiest way out is to get my daughter to photograph me, clothed, in different poses. I work from imagination in any case.

As for the Raft, when I was an architecture student at Kingston Art School in the 1970's, and having difficulties with the course, I started trawling through the art library. Gericault's painting was one that stayed with me. I managed to get to the Louvre while on a architecture study trip to France to see it. What is striking about the story of the Raft is that the shipwreck was caused by an incompetent officer class, who managed to get away to safety in lifeboats, but not before cutting loose the raft that they were towing, condemning nearly all its occupants to death. In short it was intended to be a very political picture.

2.How many times have you taken part in the Trail?
This is my 2nd trail.

3. What kind of things inspire you to create art?
Imagination, memory, and art-history/painting sources, plus my recurring obsessions, such as the Raft or the Icarus myth.

4. What challenges (if any) do you face in preparing yourself and your work for the Trail?
Adverse family problems have forced me to paint for fewer hours this year, although I have participated in the 100 Square Foot on-line and live exhibition, as well as the Cork Street Open competition, encouraged by Anna Alcock of Inky- Cuttlefish studios.

5. Who are your favourite artists?
Van Gogh, Friedrich, Sargent, Turner, Bomberg, Gericault, Paul Nash., Bonnard, Fred Cuming RA, and Ken Howard, RA.

6. Please tell us two things you really like about Walthamstow?
The art contacts I have built up here over 20 years and its proximity to Epping Forest

7. Please tell us one thing you wish Walthamstow had?
The new cinema we nearly had.


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