Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Vernon Ward Project

Guys, I've been working on an art piece for the last four months and decided to turn it into an online experiment. Take a look at the link to the right for 'The Vernon Ward Project'.

Whats it all about? Basically, Vernon Ward was a landscape painter from the late 1940s and 50s. He painted really kitsch stuff. Romantic landscapes, deer in the wood, pretty flowers. That kind of thing. For about eight years he pretty much worked on one thing only - paintings of ducks migrating and returning after the Fall.

I first came across his paintings in a thrift shop in New Cross where the owner tried to convince me that his two rain-stained prints were actually original oils. I bratered him down from £250 to £5.50 for each. Even then, I think I got fleeced! I've been collecting Ward duck prints ever since. So far, I have eight in the collection and growing.

Why am I doing this?! The paintings aren't just awful impressions of ducks, they represent a whole genre of kitsch art that, I think, illustrate our longing for beuatiful, perfect things. They are a window into an idealistic world tthat doesn't really exist anywhere. As I find another print, I find it fascinating how well these pieces of art have been preserved. They have been cherished, loved. How fascinating that something so naff has been loved so well.

So it's a piece of work about obsessions and passion. It's about kitsch ideals and romanticism. It's also about the nature of passion and collection. As each print shows a group of migrating birds leaving and returning, it echoes of the process of collection where, at times, the prints come to you then at other times, you go to then. The working title for this art piece is The Vernon Ward Project: Sometimes they Come to You, Sometimes you Go to Them.

Any thoughts, send on the back of a kitsch landscape postcard to the usual address...


Nathan said...

I like.

Andy said...

welcome back to the blogosphere Ali - I was beginning to think you'd deserted.

I love the idea of the Vernon Ward project. Would love to see the installation - maybe make it an online gallery...


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