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  • Writer's pictureGillian Holding

Blake and me…

studio floor study

Apart from walking the streets of Chapeltown, Harehills and Scott Hall yesterday drawing streets of suburbia and unlikely panoramas, I did some serious (ish) reading about William Blake and his poetry.

I visited a lovely exhibition of his work a few years ago at the Whitworth (I think) in Manchester which was intriguing and revealing not least in his use of watercolour. But on his writing, I’m an ignoramus. Save for the words of Jerusalem – and that’s only because so much of this poem is, as with Shakespeare and the Bible, part of the daily lexicon of English.

This, though, is one of the best bits of fine art practice. Being given a theme, or a space to respond to, and then working out how this integrates with my view of the world. In other words, what’s my individual, personal take on the theme? How am I seeing it and understanding it? What elements directly resonate with me?

There’s always something, and the clue in this case is my reference to the side streets of Harehills, and the distant gleaming other-worldly tower blocks.

I have one further sketching outing today around Boggart Hill and Ramshead roads in Seacroft before I return to the studio floor and the pristine Perspex awaiting me there. Exciting stuff.

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