Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The quest for the Great Happiness

"Later in 1944 Cecil and Elisabeth began the first of their sojourns in Cambridge.  It was typical of wartime conditions that they found themselves in circumstances so cramped that they had to make up their bed every night under a grand piano.  They were saved from this by a new friend, the poet Robert Nichols who suggested they should take a room in the lodgings at 12 Newnham Terrace, where he lived.

Collins turned again to print-making, but without the support he had had in the Dartington studios.  He worked in an unheated attic of the house in Newnham Terrace in the winter of 1944-5:  the facilities available to him were so meagre that he was forced to employ the wax stencils used in Roneo machines to make his masters, with a penknife, sandpaper and needles for his tools.  This new medium enabled him to undertake further explorations of the theme of the Fool in prints such as The Joy of the Fool,  as well as the enchanting work The Artist's Wife Seated in a Tree*...."  

Cecil Collins  The quest for the Great Happiness   William Anderson
[*both these prints are in the Tate Gallery]

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