An Appreciation of the Quintessential

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If you’re into Bloomsbury - Lytton Strachey, Carrington, Frances and Ralph Partridge… Watch this.

Three short 16mm films by Beakus Penrose, filmed in and around Ham Spray, 1929. Two drama-shenanigans, one documentary! Brought out of their rusting tins and conserved by the National Film & Television Archive for ‘Carrington: the Exhibition’, Barbican Art Gallery, 1995.

'Dr Turner's Mental Home' featuring Saxon Sydney Turner, Rachel MacCarthy, Lord David Cecil, Dora Carrington, Ralph Partridge, Frances Partridge.

'Untitled' ('The Bounder' to me) starring Dora Carrington, Stephen Tomlin, Julia Strachey, Oliver Strachey (?).

'Topical Budget Ham Spray September 1929' with Dora Carrington, David Garnett, Frances Partridge, Ralph Partridge, Lytton Strachey, James Strachey.

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Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (via kushandwizdom)

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The history of art is a mysterious thing. It has been with us throughout our entire human experiment (possibly even longer), and it has been at the forefront of shaping our reality with visual imagery that shocks us, pleases us, upsets, titillates, intrigues, angers, inspires, educates, and perplexes our ever-changing perspective on humanity and our place in the world.

Throughout it’s entire history, the art-makers have been just as mysterious. To quote Jack Kerouac - Artists are “the mad ones…” (If you haven’t heard this quote you should seriously check it out! It’s from On the Road) They push boundaries and come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. 

Alex Grey is no exception, and he is an artist who may shock you. He was invited to the attached TED Talk, because he can effectively communicate his thoughts on the power of art to expand human consciousness, in a way that is accessible and fascinating. Also, he has been prolific in his life of art-making.

Due to the fact that this is for a high school class assignment, I would like to address the references to Mr. Grey’s drug use. It’s a reality that a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of many of the artists we will study, will often be crude, harsh, strange, or socially unconventional. If for whatever reason this video makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to contact me about it.

I would like you to post the following on your tumblr page:

1) reflect upon Grey’s theory of art in relation to human evolution.

1A) What are your thoughts in relation to his theory of “art as a battery?”

1B) What is the role of the artist in Grey’s philosophy of the power of art?

1C) Do you think his theories are legitimate, or are they nothing more than pipe dreams? 

These are just some topics you can discuss; feel free to come up with your own. 

Do a little digging and find a work that speaks to Alex’s view of art’s function in society. Inquire into his motivations and philosophy, and make informed judgements about what you think he is after with the piece. 

2) You should reference the artwork by name & year, & post it on your tumblr page.

(So sorry… this wasn’t as short as I anticipated)

This will be due on Wednesday, at 11:59 PM.