Richard Brooks - Reflective Journal

Richard Brooks - Reflective Journal

About the Artist RWB Journal

My work is informed by my personal faith, sense of vulnerability, bereavement, and, my personal experience.

My practice centres on addressing social justice issues of the human condition. I avoid making work of any individual person; so that neither, is the individual stigmatised, nor is the work unduly personalised.

Since January 2012 I have used this blog as part of my reflective journal.
Included in this journal is some of my documentation of my research; the underlined text provides links to web pages etc that have formed part of my research.
The Research Visits category includes some responses to gallery visits.

The Foundling Hospital [Sat 2012-01-28]

Research VisitPosted by Richard Mon, January 30, 2012 15:08:20
This visit had a number of strands or facets.

History of the Foundling Hospital

Art works Donated in 18th and 19th Centuries

Quentin Blake


There is the aspect of social history - it is the first foundling hospital and first public art gallery. It was disturbing to learn that on occasion desperate mothers would pay to have their child taken from many miles away to London and the foundling hospital, but that unscrupulous traffickers sometimes just left the child on the road en route to die.

The collection of art, mainly 18th century and some 19th century. Highlights included several works by Hogarth - etchings - Gin Lane; Four Time of Day - Noon; Vice and Virtue - plate 6; and paintings e.g. The March to Finchley, 1750; and Captain Thomas Coram, 1740 [hospital founder - interestingly he was unusually painted with his own hair, as he really was, rather than, as was the custom, wearing a wig.

The uplifting drawings of Quentin Blake as made for a diverse range of hospitals in UK and France. I especially enjoyed the images of the father meeting his newborn baby for the first time that QB made for the fathers waiting area at Angers maternity hospital.

Video Quentin Blake: hospital like 'alien planet'

The ambience of the visit was enhanced by a small chamber group practicing Handel in the upper gallery; it was good to view the works, old and new, as the strains of Handel's music seeped through the building. It was also good to briefly visit the Handel archive and to listen to some further works in specially made lounge chairs [perhaps an idea that I could adapt in some future installation].

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