Wot! No Art? - ACE081.7

1978. Wot! No Art? - ACE081.7.

TitleWot! No Art? - ACE081.7
Timecode
In00:44:30
Out00:54:03
Description

Footage from Korean War, and of events linked to nationalisation of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company; commentary describes adverse effects of these situations. The Festival of Britain. Daphne Hardy’s Figure of a Girl (1951); Barbara Hepworth’s Contrapuntal Forms (1951). Ben Nicholson’s Festival of Britain Mural. Another Henry Moore Reclining Figure (1951). Arts Council’s "Sixty Paintings for 51" commission: Rodrigo Moynihan’s Portrait Group, one by John Armstrong, L S Lowry’s Industrial Landscape, Lucian Freud’s Interior Near Paddington, Claude Rogers’s Miss Lynne, Robert Medley’s Bicyclists Against a Blue Background, William Gear’s Autumn Landscape. Newsreel coverage of Festival: buildings, visitors, members of Royal Family, Herbert Morrison, etc. Extract from Alan Bush’s opera, Wat Tyler, heard (in German) over Siegfried Charoux’s The Islanders; Moore’s Reclining Figure; newsreel coverage of events in Iran – men turning off pipelines, pulling down signs, Europeans boarding plane, demonstrations; scenes from the Festival at the South Bank and the funfair in Battersea Park; Korean war footage; Epstein’s Lazarus (1947-1948); Korea; sculptures; the Skylon; buildings being pulled down after the Festival closed. Demolished buildings, visited by politician; commentary notes that Conservatives were returned to power in October, 1951, and "those who had hoped for a truly Socialist Britain saw their dreams recede". Murals; commentary says that those by "by Victor Pasmore, Keith Vaughan [At the Beginning of Time] and others were bulldozed away". Site in 1970s, still mostly a car park; Royal Festival Hall. Feliks Topolski in his railway arch, using part of his Festival mural. Mural from the Garden Café by Marek Zulawski, now in the London Transport recreation room at Loughton; Barbara Hepworth’s Turning Forms, now at Marlborough School, Hertfordshire; Ben Nicholson’s mural, now at Edinburgh University; John Piper’s An Englishman’s Home at Harlow Technical College [now in St Paul’s Church, Harlow]. "Since the 1940s, the gap between art and people has not been closed. It’s widened." Tower blocks at Lewisham which the Council agreed (1976) to make "more pleasant" by adding some colour. Murals painted without the hoped-for contributions from local people. Children going to school. Though Maynard Keynes’s ideal is still alive, "before it can be achieved, people’s lives must change …Art must be thought of as a basic human need, instead of as a luxury that society can only just afford." Credits.

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