Thursday, 12 August 2010

Volcanoes in Warwickshire.

Definition: Volcano - A mountain on fire.

Compton Verney is a local art gallery about 20 minutes drive away through the Warwickshire countryside. A couple of months ago we paid a year's entry subscription, so we can now visit whenever we want.

These are a few photos of the grounds. The place is privately owned by the Moore family of Littlewoods Pools fame.

A new exhibition has just opened there called Volcanoes: Turner to Warhol. It's jolly good and well worth a visit if you're in the area. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get round all of it as it's a very comprehensive and well researched exhibition which we both liked a lot.

The owners Private Parts (!)

 The lake/river in front of the house.

This large stone is a piece of art not a a huge rock left by a passing glacier. It's by John Frankland 2001 and is called Untitled Boulder. You are not allowed to climb on it. Harumph - on all fronts if you ask me.

Interspersed with the pictures, cartoons, sketchbooks, books, photos etc was geological information explaining the facts or otherwise portrayed in the various images.  This was fascinating in it's own right, but next to the paintings, it was enlightening and entertaining.

For example, the shape of a volcano depends on the type of magma underneath (magma being lava before it reaches the surface air) and many of the images shown for volcanos are false. This is because the average slope on a volcano is about 30 degrees and not like the little pointed mountains so often portrayed. Above is notelet I bought with the image of Mt Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai (1823) on it. His volcano is about 60 degrees!  Beautiful though.......I love the colours.

There were several paintings by him there and it's inspired me to have a play with making flat, detailed, images without using tone to give a 3D effect.

I felt that with the exception of Andy Warhol's Vesuvius,  the most dramatic paintings and the two that were my favourite images were Pierre-Jacques Volaire's (1729-1792) depiction of Vesuvius Erupting at Night,  and Turner's, (1775-1851) The Eruption of the Souffier Mountains.
                              Turner                                                                   Volaire

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting exhibition. Maybe i can combine it with the alpaca farm I have always promised myself to visit somewhere in deepest Warwickshire.
    The bottom two pictures are incredibly aren"t they? They could almost be the digital images of today of far off planets...