We had a wonderful day yesterday, visiting Compton Verney and an exhibition of the works of Eric Ravilious. Compton Verney has a fascinating history which no doubt I will write about another time but the site has been a place of settlement since Saxon times when a village which became Compton was established near the old Roman road, the Fosse Way. The Verney family acquired the lands around this area in the 1430’s… so there has been a very long history of a the Verneys in Compton. Shortly after a manor house was built and over the years this was rebuilt and developed and now after a sometimes unsettled history, it is an elegant and lovely home to a museum and art gallery… oh and a nice café perfect for elevensies, lunch or afternoon tea!
The exhibition was fantastic; it closes in June so you’ll have to hurry if you want to visit, and I hope we might find time to go back to see it again. As well as Ravilious, there were some works by his associates, Enid Marx, Tirza Garwood, Edward Bawdon, and my favourite, John Nash. The exhibition not only showed a fabulous collection of their works, but also gave a history of this important group of artists and a context for their work. The interwar years when they were working seemed a vibrant time for all the arts, and much of their work was connected to illustrating books and their covers with woodcuts and etchings, fabric design, ceramic designs and furnishing designs.
There were letters, diaries, extracts from their writings, one of which really struck me. It was a quote from John Nash:
If the foreground is entirely devoid of interest, something must be introduced.
He, of course was writing about painting, but to me it really struck home in terms of creative writing. You can have the most beautiful descriptions and lyrical passages, but something of interest must be introduced!
Unusually, I have edited my photo – I’ve tried to be artistic!!