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I listen to Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren about ten times every day. I have no idea why; I’m not a Buckley fan otherwise. Sometimes This Mortal Coil’s cover will do as well, but never, ever Robert Plant or Brian Ferry (although Ferry’s live performance on Jools Holland was quite acceptable). And for the rest of my waking hours, it plays inside my head, over and over again.

It haunts me to say the least (thought I’d better get it out of my system).

Which, of course, leads me to present these various Ondines / Victorian pin-ups…

Maillol BanyulsSurMer.

Verne; Repin; Scott Rhea; Jared Mell; Bruce Mozert

Frederick Cayley Robinson (1962-1927) has been dug up from the dark abyss of forgotten artists in the National Gallery’s exhibition Acts of Mercy where the main attraction is four large-scale panels, originally commissioned by the Middlesex Hospital and now owned by the Wellcome Trust, of which BBC has made a neat little Audio Slideshow. But what really caught my attention was this:

“Pastoral” usually resides at Tate  (although I have never seen it there on display) and trust me; it is a thousand times more beautiful and radiant in real life. That moonshine, shining like mercury, shoots through the air like a bright flash of light. It is wonderfully subtle and loud at the same time and strikes a chord with me in very much the same way as this other National Gallery painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

What I like here is that double focus of realism and symbolism…that slightly intangible shift into figurative modernism, still anchored in heroic symbolism (Gallen-Kallela is best known for his illustrations of the Finish national epic Kalevala). But aesthetic merits aside, I think it’s mostly got to do with the water. I’m not a sea person you see.  I’ll happily visit the seaside every once in a while and like maritime art very much indeed (especially stormy seascapes). But I am, devotedly and entirely, a lake person. Yes, the sea, the sea brings into our minds ‘the turbid ebb and flow of human misery’ etc. etc. But the lake is serene, mysterious and poetic. It records the changing of seasons in the mirror of its surface, soft like velvet in the summer and hard like the earth in the winter. It hoards memories and silence, regrets and desires: a keeper of secrets.

Jonna Lee has lifted the veil  and the image certainly satisfies. Latest from iamamiwhoami…

on twitter

  • RT @artinsociety: Albrecht Dürer died #OTD 1528, almost 500 years ago, but his studies of animals and bugs live on ~ here’s his finely-obse… 1 year ago
  • RT @TheSyriaCmpgn: These photos show the devastating conditions Syrian refugees are facing in Lebanon after a brutal storm left their tents… 1 year ago
  • RT @jeremycorbyn: I, Daniel Blake will be shown on TV for the first time, tonight at 9.45pm on BBC 2. It shows the human cost of this Tory… 1 year ago


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mimi harcourt