The Tennis Match

This is just a short little post. It looks at a familiar theme I have found in the work of Eric Ravilious, repetition. But in this case it is because both works in this post were inspired by the same location.

image

 Eric Ravilious – Tennis (in the park), 1930

The painting above is a three part set of panels designed Sir Geoffrey Fry’s Music Room in Portman Square, London. 

Ravilious based them on the Manor Gardens at Eastbourne, and treated the panels as a continuous composition. Above you can see the mounted hill with steps. Below you can see it in the wood-engraving, then how it looks today.

image

 Eric Ravilious – Manor Gardens, 1927

 Horse Mound, Manor Gardens, Eastbourne 

Edward Bawden’s Zinc Zeal

I rather love these adverts by Edward Bawden from the Architects Journal to promote Zinc from 1945-46. From the end of WW2 Britain needed to be rebuilt and Zinc Development Association wanted it to be done with Zinc! In the 1940s it was in direct competition with Aluminium and the asphalt roofing roll.

Bawden completed 12 adverts, one would guess each for a monthly copy of the Architects Journal and Architectural Review (where they were advertised). Bawden got the job from his life-long friend and patron Robert Harling, who was working for Everett’s Advertising Agency at the time. Harling was the fairy godmother to Bawden, providing him with work throughout his life and even penned a book on the artist, he wrote novels and worked as a typographer.

I think the typeface used in this adverts are delightful as well.

image
image
image
image
image
image

The full advert has some text under it, rather bleak and a little bulling I think. Each advert had something related but all about rebuilding Britain, post war.

Until the road system of England is one grand impenetrable traffic-jam, peacetime productions will mean more and more cars. And more and more cars will mean more and more garages. And heaven grant these garages will be neither in the shed-and-shanty nor in the Bypass-Tudor-cum Queen Anne manner, but decent, dignified and honestly contemporary. Their building will demand zinc. For zinc lasts long, resists atmospheric corrosion manfully and does its job economically. It has proved itself the best permanent material for roofs, gutters, weathering and down-pipes. And the wise architect will look into the many new ways and means of unit it. 

image
image
image
image
image
image

It can only ever be a guess but the swimming pool here is very similar to the Mounts Baths in Northampton, opened in October 1936 pictured below when they opened from Architectural Review.

image

 Mounts Baths, Northampton, 1936

Bawden – Station to Station

image

 Edward Bawden – Cover illustration for The Twentieth Century, August, 1956

Edward Bawden was bought up in Braintree and after studying at the R.C.A. he moved to Great Bardfield. The nearest station was in Braintree and the terminus for the line was Liverpool Street Station, so as a student at the Royal College of Art or as a teacher there, he would have experienced the station countless times. While being interviewed for the BBC Monitor program Bawden is quoted below:  

I don’t think I would have thought of Liverpool Street as a subject, as I am so familiar with it. Almost seems to me an extension of my own house. I think the ceiling is absolutely magnificent, it is one of the wonders of London. 

Bawden would use Liverpool Street Station in many various ways over his life, the first time is this etching done soon after he left the Royal College of Art. 

Etchings for artists at this time were used like a romantic ideal of a photograph, very detailed and accurate, but edited. Few artists would use the medium like Bawden did at the time, a handful of exceptions of Christopher Nevinson and William Roberts exist. Bawden however didn’t edition many of the etchings and most of them were left to be forgotten and later reprinted in 1973. The value of Edward Bawden’s etchings is something that should be reviewed as a legacy to the medium.   

Another amusing print is Mr. Edward Bawden’s engraving “Liverpool Street”, which is really humorous, not in subject, but in pattern. 

image

 Edward Bawden – Liverpool Station, Etching, 1927-29

Below is a drawing used in the Sundour Diary and Notebook, a diary illustrated by Bawden in 1953 with scenes from all over Britain, a simple pen and ink drawing it captures the gothic windows and iron roof top that give the station a cathedral quality.  

image

 Edward Bawden – Liverpool Street Station, Drawing, 1953

Bawden, again working in pen and ink, illustrated the cover of the Twentieth Century magazine. He would work for the magazine for three years making covers most of the months with topical themes. This illustration looks like the rush on trains to start the holidays, at the front a father with a child on his shoulders, while carrying two suitcases and followed by a dog. In front of him a luggage trolley collides with a lady. 

image

 Edward Bawden – Cover illustration for The Twentieth Century, August, 1956

Bawden was commissioned to make two limited edition prints, one of Liverpool Street Station and one of Kings College, Cambridge, but nothing would come of that. It looks like Bawden trialled making the print in various ways, a lithograph and a linocut. The lithograph below looks almost like a pen doodle with the rooftop being a cobweb and the structure being lost in the detail. The figures on the the picture look like humans made of wire, it’s all very abstract for Bawden.

image

 Edward Bawden – Liverpool Street Station, Artist’s Proof Lithograph, 1960

image

 Edward Bawden – Liverpool Street Station, Linocut, 1960 

Above is the final print by Bawden after he settled on a linocut. Below is a study for the linocut as a drawing and with the perspectives bending away to the left. The main structure to the right looking like the final work. The final linocut being flatter and showing off the gothic windows.

image

 Edward Bawden – Liverpool Street Station, Drawing, 1960

Below is a detail from the final print and a look at the repetitive detail and skill in the ironwork, rooftop and train carriages. It also shows off the over-printed steam to the right and the cut out steam to the left. And below that is another detail from the print showing the centre of the print having colour and light.

image

 Edward Bawden – Liverpool Street Station, Linocut (Detail), 1960

image

 

Edward Bawden – Liverpool Street Station, Linocut (Detail), 1960 

Even thought Bawden didn’t complete a print of Kings College, Cambridge, he did in the same year make a print of Braintree Station and this may have covered the commission. From one station to another, these are the main bench ends of Bawden’s world.

image

 Edward Bawden – Braintree Station, Linocut, 1961

 BBC – Monitor, 10 November 1963
Apollo  Magazine – 1928, p171