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Monday, 13 March 2017

Lecture & Poetry Reading

In the context of Crucifixions: Francis BaconRupert Loydell read poetry inspired by the work of Francis Bacon and also by the annunciation at St Stephen Walbrook tonight. As well as his own work, he also read Bacon-inspired poems by Peter Gillies and Brian Louis Pearce. Francis Bacon is not your friend he wrote in an earlier poem while also acknowledging that Bacon burned bright and that the spirit of God was upon him, urgent and toxic.

Loydell founded Stride magazine in 1982 and has, since then, published several hundred titles in Stride's wide-ranging list of poetry, fiction, and critical texts; the magazine itself is now online. In addition to editing Stride, he is currently Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University, a widely exhibited painter of small abstract paintings, and a much-anthologised and -published poet

In his latest collection Dear Mary he writes about art and life and how they intersect. Fascinated by both renaissance and contemporary painting, he re-invents moments of annunciation in today's world, and revels in the colours and sunshine of Italy. This is a world of wonder and surprise, where aliens abduct the Virgin Mary, Francis Bacon paints angels, and even the weather forecast predicts the future. This is a book which explores how we might wonder, explain, and begin to understand. 

In my lecture on 'The crucifixion in modern art' I used theologian Paul Tillich's idea that the 'rediscovery of the expressive element in art since about 1900' was 'a decisive event for the relation of religion and the visual arts' as it 'made religious art again possible', to think about the crucifixion in modern art while also considering the use that Francis Bacon makes of this image. We reflected that 'the two world wars led artists like Bacon to look towards the Crucifixion as one of the few symbols that could contain the potency of their emotions.' Bacon said that he could find no other subject as valid as the Crucifixion to embrace all the nuances of human feelings and behaviours that enabled him to think about all life’s horror. 'Images from the concentration camps proved to be a catalyst for some of the most powerful depictions of the crucifixion; images showing a bloody and haggard Christ whose body bore witness to the “continuing beastliness and cruelty of mankind.”' The majority of artists doing so, including Francis Bacon, used Expressionism as their main means of bearing witness.


The Beat Aeroplanes - Angel Words.

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