Forthcoming – A New Great Bardfield Autobiography

Before and After Great Bardfield: The Autobiography of Lucie Aldridge

Once considered lost, the forthcoming autobiography of Lucie Aldridge is released in the Summer of 2020. It covers her childhood in rural Cambridge at the end of the nineteenth century, her sisters, the Suffragette movement, her first marriage during WWI, and her life in London. That ‘London’ life was a release from the conventions of her childhood. She notes the famous parties of Cedric Morris and the Bright Young Things; meeting John Aldridge and finding herself in Majorca with Robert Graves and Laura Riding. There are too many people to list.

Following the success of Long Live Great Bardfield, The autobiography of Tirzah Garwood, Lucie’s book is a autobiography comes with a postscript by Inexpensive Progress detailing frankly the life and trials Lucie would go on to have in that Essex village.

If anyone has ever met Lucie, has any information on her, or her work (paintings and rugs) do please let me know at frozenocean18@hotmail.com but time is short!

image

 Lucie by John Aldridge, 1930 (Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum)

image

The Portrait Painter

image

 John Aldridge – Stubble Field, Thaxted, 1968

Unlike the artists of St Ives, the Bardfield Group didn’t really end up copying each other’s works and styles. Each of them all having a different artistic technique already before moving to the village. 

John Aldridge painted realistic landscapes, no surrealism and little abstraction, his masterfulness coming in the detail of light sources and a limited palette of colour. Despite the landscapes and garden paintings here are a collection of his portrait paintings. What is more interesting about them is how the people are woven together in their history with each other.

As an artist, he was self-taught and his paintings have a freshness that some of his contemporaries had to work hard to regain after. †

image

 John Aldridge – Portrait of Cedric Morris c1928

image

 John Aldridge – Portrait of Lucy Brown, 1930

image

 John Aldridge – Portrait of Laura Riding, 1933

image

 John Aldridge – Portrait of Lucy Aldridge c1950

image

 John Aldridge – Portrait of Robert Graves, 1968

In 1968 when Robert Graves asked Aldridge to paint him.

Robert Graves wanted a portrait of himself, he declared that as a landscape painter Aldridge was the right person to interpret his craggy features

Graves wrote to Karl Gay at the time, ‘he found my face an interesting landscape’.

image

 John Aldridge – Self Portrait, 1946

Country Life – Volume 193 – p55, 1999
Robert Graves and Paul O’Prey – Between Moon and Moon: Selected Correspondence – p300, 1990