Happy Valentine's day. Romance isn't just for the loved up amongst us. Well it is really, and that is a fairly vapid attempt at empowerment, but the point is that I want to consider more important things. On a trip in to town last week, dissatisfied with the O'Donoghue exhibition, I slipped in to the Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery and stumbled upon the British Heart Foundation's Mending Broken Heart's exhibition. A collection of prints produced by leading contemporary British artists in aid of the current campaign by BHF. The exhibition was a candy-box explosion of joy and vibrant graphics which suggests how strongly diverse artists approach this sugar-candied theme. Maggi Hambling's Sunrise Heart drew me in to the exhibition, it appeared to be a reworking of her sea paintings with the same chaotic mass of shifting colours.
'Sunrise Heart is alive with movement and texture; the paint seems ready to leap from the canvas. Flashes of red and orange capture that vital and optimistic event: sunrise.'Brendan Neiland's strip-lighting print, Calypso, was a striking example of how contemporary artist's have succeeded in abstracting even acrylic paint. It became a vibrant, glowing neon print. The artist said that he wanted to produce something ‘bright, bold and as joyful as possible’.
Storm Thorgerson was the artist of the iconic album cover for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and in Teardrop he has reworked this silkscreen print for the theme of the exhibition.
'Thorgerson harnesses the scientific imagery of light passing through a prism and softens it by replacing the hard-edged prism with a teardrop. The fluid forms of the rainbow colours that emanate from the teardrop are joyous and hopeful compared to the monochromatic scheme on the opposite side of the composition, suggesting that we must suffer before we can rejoice.'
I think the appeal is exciting and original, engaging with contemporary art seems to be a very productive way of drawing people in. Although I do also like the less culturally-elevated campaign surrounding Hope the Zebra Fish, because Zebra Fish can mend their own hearts.
Anyway here are some beautiful videos, combinations of literature and film which I think are the very epitome of romance.
John Keats' letter to Fanny Brawne in the film Bright Star
Heath Ledger reading an E.E Cummings poem in the film Candy