Big day on Friday last, the first Private View for the Alagram collection. Ooohs and Aaaahs aplenty, and maybe, weather permitting, a couple of sales. Lots of searching questions provoking some elliptic responses from the Artist in Residence. The most recent addition, see featured image, is one of which I am particularly proud. It has taken its title from the Ellington Shakespearian suite of that name, and uses some of its flavours; a spot of Lady Macbeth, Cleopatra’s galley, some Madness in Great Ones, and a fresh pair of Star-Crossed Lovers.
This piece has a curious history. A frame near the door had become vacant, the previous boldly-coloured, thunderfly-spotted occupant having moved on for a bit of R & R, and it needed a new tenant. I noted the bold colours of the original, and went looking for a likely successor. I found a tiny image, some 8 cm square, part of a sequence inspired by Erik Satie’s piano music, and enlarged it till it was ten times bigger. Most of the left half of the new monster needed a complete overhaul and re-imagining, but as is so often the case, new unplanned possibilities emerged, and it turned out even better than I’d hoped. It gives visitors a resounding and welcoming fanfare.
Duke Ellington used space and silence brilliantly in Such Sweet Thunder, and there’s plenty of both in my version.