Sunday, March 3, 2013


  A long time ago, when I studied art history in college, I was first warned against the inadequacies of  “lantern slides” (as we called them then) and book illustrations for presenting works of art. 

  These media misrepresented everything – size, scale, picture color and values, and texture.

 In time, and with increased experience and study, I found that my teachers’ observations and warnings were correct.  

    The crystal-like clarity of web presentation has, if anything, made things worse.  A dozen keystrokes present viewers with a dozen vastly different renderings/images of the same work of art.  Which is the “correct” one? 

  Answer:  None of them.

  This is a long-winded way of apologizing for the inadequacies of these virtual lantern-slides of a few of Timothy Shepard’s works, which are currently on view at 10 Grosvenor Street Art Space, London, W1K 4QB (show on until May 16th, M-F 9 am – 6 pm).

  Shepard writes:

 “Work on a Landscape Collage begins with me spending time within the landscape itself and overlaying impressions and perceptions in my mind. I use a camera to capture and record this experience as a visual record, photographing the numerous individual elements which unselfconsciously catch my eye. 

  Back in the studio, in a long and painstaking process, reassemble  these elements, layer upon layer.  Hundreds of image fragments form the final picture, with a fluidity and interconnectedness that express both the actual and imagined - an omnijectivity of the plural viewpoint. This is how the mind conceives the landscape - both in the present of seeing it, and creatively as a memory. Memory is collage.”

  These are masterful country and urban landscapes that genuinely “reach” me this week and restore me at a moment when the universe presents like some cosmic hate letter and I seem to be sending ransom notes to myself.  A genuinely peculiar stratagem for a person who really isn’t odd, who appears on the outside (wherever that might be) to be placid, unruffled.

 I might ask:  If memory is collage, what is forgetting?

 Note:  Readers can find better renderings of Timothy Shepard’s works HERE.


First:  Wandering Over To The South Lookout, Albeburgh, In The Afternoon

Second:  Between Snape Maltings to Aldeburgh In The Footsteps of Benjamin Britten

Third:  Spitalfields

Fourth:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


  1. A bit more collage:

    Approximately 50 years ago we spent several summer holidays at Aldeburgh. We stayed at "The Uplands", which had, in addition to the handsome main house, various smaller structures in the capacious gardens, including a very old railway carriage with chintz curtains, this being my favorite sleeping-quarters. We children were served supper at 5, often consisting largely of breakfast cereal, and then sent to bed before the adults enjoyed their mysterious repast. One time my sister and I played cricket in the garden with Viscount Lascelles and his brothers, using tennis rackets as cricket bats.

    My father loved to dive into the icy North Sea from the rocky beach, which was often decorated with patches of oil from passing tankers, and afterwards eat oysters and drink Adnams Southwold Ale at the Cross Keys. I loved to watch the lifeboat as it was launched down a track into the waves, its big brass propellers turning in the air even before it hit the water, and my sister and I loved to go boating at The Mere in Thorpeness, which included little islands each of which harbored a house from a children's story, reached by a lonely ride on rented bicycles along the sea front, often in a fine rain.

    The Moot Hall at Aldeburgh stands on the beach; the other half of the town is beneath the waves. This is more than can be said of another of the Cinq Ports, Dunwich, just to the north of Aldeburgh, which is now nothing but water. The sea there is unforgiving.

    Benjamin Britten was a constant presence at Aldeburgh. Have you ever listened to "Curlew River"? I remember my parents going to hear it in the church in Aldeburgh, after I went to bed. I last saw Britten at a concert at The Maltings in Snape in the summer of 1976, when he was near death. He waved weakly from a box near the front, and his lover Peter Pears sang in a disturbing counter-tenor.

    I would go back in a heartbeat. Yet somehow I never do.

    1. I hope you've visited Tim Shepherd's website and seen the larger versions of these, which I think are really wonderful. I'm sure they're stunning in person. I think your memoir fits right in to Tim's visual reflections. I would love to visit Aldeburgh. Also a place called Ilfracombe. (I think I have that right.) Actually, I'd like to visit any place except my desk, which has been quite busy lately. Currently I'm off to Philadelphia Traffic Court, backed up by truth, justice and what used to be known as the American Way. We'll see how I do. Jane's starting skating again, which is great. Curtis