Tag Archives: Eileen Hogan

Edges and Enclosures

From 9 September to 3 October, CCW Professor Eileen Hogan will be exhibiting Edges and Enclosures at Browse & Darby. The new work that she is showing will be accompanied by a book published by Browse & Darby, with an introductory essay by Wendy Baron about Hogan and her work.

The section entitled Self-portraits through wardrobe features new paintings by Hogan of her clothes in her wardrobe. ‘A familiar feature of my indoor life is the wardrobe at the end of my bed, the closely hung stripes of colour formed by a succession of shirts and scarves. The clothes hold something of my shape, memories of when and where they were bought and of times worn. The paintings are a self-portrait that explores how much presence can be achieved in absence and how much an image of a person can be implied through association.’ The exhibition also shows work from her Snow Series, Little Sparta Series and Trinity Buoy Wharf. The full book can be found online.

Hogan is exploring portraiture more broadly with the UAL Community of Practice, Don’t Stare It’s Rude. The group examines what happens when different disciplines and perspectives are brought to bear on the concept of portraiture, treating it as an open proposition. The group held two symposia in 2015, and has recently been funded to continue its research.

Top image: Self-portrait through wardrobe 2, 2015, oil and wax on paper, 60 x 66 cm, by Eileen Hogan

The Jocelyn Herbert Archive

On Monday 16th February 2015 the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation hosted a reception to celebrate the move of the Jocelyn Herbert Archive to the National Theatre Archive in the NT Studio on The Cut. Speeches were by Sir Nicholas Hytner, Sir John Sorrell, Sandra Lousada and Professor Eileen Hogan- Director of the Jocelyn Herbert Archive. The Rootstein Hopkins Foundation which has supported the Jocelyn Herbert Archive during its time at Wimbledon College of Arts will continue to fund research relating to the collection now that her archive is housed at the National Theatre.

Jocelyn Herbert (1917 – 2003) was a seminal figure in postwar twentieth-century British theatre. Her approach altered the way directors and audiences came to view stage design and contributed to a fundamental shift in the relationship between writer, director and designer. The Jocelyn Herbert Archive is one of the most complete and extensive of the period, covering many world premieres of plays which have since come to be seen as twentieth century classics.  She wanted her archive to be used in a practical way by students and other researchers and made as accessible to them as possible. She had a long connection with the theatre department at Wimbledon College of Arts, was often called in as an external examiner or otherwise to advise the students, and in 2000 she received an honorary doctorate. In 2008 the archive moved to Wimbledon College of Art and was installed in a newly built, environmentally controlled room. This, together with the digitisation of all the drawings and the cataloguing of the archive was made possible by a substantial grant from the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation.

The archive consists of over 6,000 of Herbert’s drawings for set and costume designs spanning student work made at the London Theatre Studio in the late 1930s, to the notebook she was using on the day she died. It includes production photographs, notebooks relating to film and theatre and to personal life, sketchbooks, diaries and contact books, three-dimensional stage models, ground plans, research material, budgets invoices and Minutes relating to meetings, posters and programmes, scripts, moulds for masks, masks and puppet figures.  Herbert’s career was characterised by long collaborative relationships with directors, writers and actors, and her archive embraces a significant body of material and correspondence with figures such as Lindsay Anderson, Samuel Beckett, Tony Harrison, John Osborne, Tony Richardson, David Storey and Arnold Wesker. As well as her vital connection with the English Stage Company at the Royal Court theatre, she had an influential role at the National Theatre, designing many plays there and as a member of Lawrence Olivier’s Building Committee for Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre South Bank design.  Olivier’s letter asking Jocelyn to become the company’s resident designer (a role she declined) is among the correspondence relating to her relationship with the National.

From 2008 to 2014 the archive has been used by students and staff from Wimbledon College of Arts as an inspiration for re-enacting historical designs and as a catalyst for new work and exhibitions. It has also been the subject for graduate and doctoral research both within the UAL and externally. Collaborative relationships have been established with the University of Stirling, where Lindsay Anderson’s archive is held, University of Reading in relation to Samuel Beckett’s archive, the V & A, which holds the archive of the English Stage Company, the Archive of Performance in Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford and, most importantly, the National Theatre, host for the Jocelyn Herbert Lectures, first given in 2010 by Richard Eyre and funded by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation for ten years. This lecture series is designed to increase public awareness of a largely invisible discipline within an otherwise closely monitored activity. Other lecturers so far have been the designer ULTZ and the playwright Christopher Hampton.

In 2014 an exciting collaboration was established between UAL and the National Theatre, whereby the National Theatre has become the new home for the archive. This coincides with far-reaching developments at the National which put design and education at the heart of the theatre. The move provides improved access for all students, and annual internships for CCW’s (Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Art) MA Theatre Design and Curating and Collections courses. New PhD and post-doctoral work will be funded by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation.  A CCW research project to create new work inspired by Herbert’s archive will start in 2015. Wimbledon Space is currently exhibiting Work From the Collections #3: Jocelyn Herbert and Samuel Beckett, curated by students from Chelsea’s MA Curating & Collections course.

Top image: Erin Lee talking to colleagues about the Jocelyn Herbert Archive in the National Theatre Context. Photo by Karen DiFranco.

BP Portrait Award 2014

This year two members of CCW research staff, Professor Eileen Hogan and Reader Mark Fairnington, have been selected to show in the BP Portrait Award 2014. The exhibition, held annually at the National Portrait Gallery ‘showcases fifty-five of the most outstanding and innovative new portraits from around the world. From informal and personal studies of friends and family to revealing images of famous faces, the exhibition features a variety of styles and approaches to the contemporary painted portrait. The works on display, selected from a record-breaking 2,377 entries, include the winner of the £30,000 first prize as well as the work of the BP Young Artist 2014 and the BP Travel Award 2013 winners.

Now in its twenty-fifth year of sponsorship by BP, and thirty-fifth year at the National Portrait Gallery, the Portrait Award is the most prestigious international portrait painting competition and the free exhibition continues to be an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar.’

Adam Phillips

Adam Phillips in memory of Jane Brodie by Eileen Hogan [right panel], 2013 © Eileen Hogan

Hogan’s sitter is Adam Phillips, profiled in 2013 in the New Yorker, which described him as Britain’s foremost psychoanalytical writer. It was commissioned (a legacy) by the late children’s lawyer, Jane Brodie, a mutual friend of Hogan’s and of Phillips’ and is painted in her memory. Hogan has previously appeared in the BP Portrait Award with her portraits of Ian Hamilton Finlay (2007), Lady Sainsbury of Preston Candover (2009) and Paul Ruddock (2012).

The Twins

The Twins (Lee and Jason) by Mark Fairnington, 2013 © Mark Fairnington

Fairnington is showing ‘a diptych of my sons Lee and Jason. I am making one painting a year of the boys. In the last few years the focus of my research has shifted from natural history collections towards the human subject. Some of the central themes, however, still persist such as moments where the idea of the specimen, the representative, overlaps with the individual and the specific. I have avoided using the word “portrait” to describe the new paintings as this contextualises them in a particular way and within a certain history. They are paintings of people. However, I was interested to see what they looked like in relation to paintings that are clearly identified as portraits. The BP Portrait Award is a place where this happens.

Lee and Jason are twins and they are redheads. They don’t usually wear the same clothes. In my paintings they are wearing their wetsuits, a graphic image that immediately links the paintings, making the similarities between the boys very clear and immediate. The differences emerge slowly: body posture, how they hold their heads, the slope of the shoulders, the hand gestures. The paintings are peculiarly still given the whirlwind dynamism that characterises the boys’ daily lives.’

‘Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower’

The Yale Center for British Art presents ‘Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower’: Artists’ Books and the Natural World, an exhibition examining the intersections of artistic and scientific interest in natural history and the natural world from the sixteenth century to the present. On view from 15 May through 10 August, 2014, the exhibition explores depictions of Britain’s countryside and its native plant and animal life through more than two hundred objects drawn primarily from the Center’s collections, ranging from centuries-old manuscripts to contemporary artists’ books. CCW Professor Eileen Hogan,will deliver the keynote opening lecture focusing on her artistic response to Little Sparta, the garden created by Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, and featured in the exhibition. The lecture will take place at the Yale Center for British Art on Wednesday 14 May at 5:30 pm.

The exhibition highlights the scientific pursuits in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that resulted in the collecting and cataloguing of the natural world. Also explored are the aesthetically oriented activities of self-taught naturalists during the Victorian era, particularly those of women who collected and drew specimens of butterflies, ferns, grasses, feathers, seaweed and shells, and assembled them into albums and commonplace books. Examples of twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists’ books, including those of Hogan, Mandy Bonnell, Tracey Bush, John Dilnot, Sarah Morpeth, Anne Lydiatt (CCW PhD student) and Helen Douglas (visiting lecturer on MA Book Arts at Camberwell College of Arts), broaden the vision of the natural world to incorporate its interaction with consumer culture and with modern technologies. Work by contemporary artists in the exhibition reveal a shared inspiration to record, interpret and celebrate nature as in the work of their predecessors.

‘Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower’ features traditional bound books, drawings and prints, as well as a range of more experimental media incorporating cut paper, wood, stone, natural specimens, sound, video and interactive multimedia. A number of key historic works will be on loan from other Yale collections, including the Yale University Art Gallery and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Examples of early microscopes used by natural historians will also be on view, on loan from the Lentz Collection at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Andrew Rafferty, professor at RISD, reviewed the exhibition, writing, ‘The culminating experience for viewers of the exhibition evokes a cultural figure who has been tremendously influential on the younger artists in the show.  Ian Hamilton Finlay is represented both through a selection of his books of concrete poetry and through landscape paintings of his greatest single work, Little Sparta, the garden/constructed landscape/installation/poem-in-space that he createdon his land near Du syre in the Borders area of Scotland.  Finlay used plantings, architecture, sculpture, and text to create an extended meditation on nature, language, art, literature, history, and politics.  Little Sparta and Finlay are brought to the galleries in New Haven through the paintings of Eileen Hogan, who has spent time during each of the past fifteen years working at Finlay’s garden, identifying key subjects within his work.  She came to know the famously prickly artist, and the exhibition includes several portraits she painted of Finlay before his death in 2006. Hogan is a marvelous painter in the tradition of the best followers of Cezanne.  One thinks of the soft, dry touch of Gwen John, the careful observation of nature by William Coldstream, and the precision of Euan Uglow, applied to a deeply felt experience of landscape created by a conceptual artist who was in his own way the equal of Andy Warhol or Joseph Beuys.  Her work is an astonishing blend of old and new and a bracing exit for this wonderful exhibition.’

The accompanying book, published in association with Yale University Press, is being designed to evoke an early naturalist’s field guide and includes essays by Hogan and Clive Phillpot, Honorary UAL Fellow .