Vote and rate on Jamie Clubb's Work by clicking on the following links. Thank you!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Dame Laura Knight's Salt and Saucy

 Recently I was delighted to finally see Dame Laura Knight's etching of Salt and Sauce, entitled Salt and Saucy at Islington Hall. The picture is documented in my book, The Legend of Salt and Sauce, but this is the first time I have seen the actual etching. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only piece of art based on or inspired by Salt and Sauce besides the various writings that mention them (Rupert Croft-Cooke, George Lockhart Jnr, Ruth Manning-Sanders and Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake). 

The etching was created in 1922 at the Islington Agricultural Hall. This was a venue managed by John "Broncho Bill" Swallow who would have just taken ownership of Salt and Sauce from "Captain Joe" Herbert Taylor. Taylor had owned and presented the elephants since Sauce had crushed their previous owner to death during an accident at Walthamstow Goodsyard in 1904. Swallow presented them at the Christmas show at that year and annually for years to come.  

Dame Laura Knight ( August 1877 – 7 July 1970) was an artist in the realist and impressionist mould, supposedly taking paintings out of the romantic era, although I would argue a lot of her fantastically complex oil paintings of circus certainly hark back to that style. Knight had a very lengthy career and was fascinated by marginalized communities, particularly the world of circus. She was a founding member of the Circus Fans Association of Great Britain (now the Circus Friends Association). According to Rosie Broadley in her 2013 book Laura Knight Portraits, Knight's success in the then male-dominated art world helped open the doors for future female artists. 

Her interest in the circus is reflective of the time. Knight was just as famed for the oils, watercolours, etchings, drypoint and engravings she did of the theatre and ballet scene. Her paintings of circuses, particularly during the time of Betram Mills, demonstrates the blurred lines of high and low art. Her works seldom come across as patronizing or gritty despite embracing realism, avoiding these common clichés used by observers of the circus world.

Dame Laura Knight Official Website    

Jamie Clubb's other blogs:
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: