I am finding it difficult to get on with my OCA studies for lots of reasons but in the meantime I have been doing lots of research on the web and looking at art books to try to get my head around my apparent drawing block.
Browsing this book on drawing that my mother had lent my daughter for her exam studies, I came across mention of bracelet shading. This is a method of using parallel lines to show the contours of the drawn form. I then got side-tracked into looking up Henry Moore’s drawings because he was mentioned as using this technique. I knew he was well known for his sculpture work but I had not come across any of his other art work before and I was drawn to these images of sleepers in the Underground from WWII. Apparently he was commissioned as a war artist during this time.
I have to say I do not know anything about Henry Moore and his inspiration but when I look at these images of people using the London Underground tunnels as a shelter from the air raids I find I am reminded of contemporary concentration camps and even current scenes of refugee camps and shelters in war torn and disaster areas of the world. The figures often seem to have a skeletal quality, as if I am looking at a lifeless form, even though I am sure the images are supposed to represent the living. Perhaps that is something to do with Moore’s study of the anatomy of the body for his sculpture work. I also get a sense of despair and resignation from the way the people lie with hunched shoulders, anguished faces and with their backs facing us.
Moore would make brief sketches in situ and work them up later at home. This is how he described what he found at the time: “poor looking women and children waiting to be let in to take shelter for the night – and the dirty old bits of blankets and clothes and pillows stretched out on the Tube platforms – it’s about the most pathetic, sordid and disheartening sight I hope to see.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3655235/How-Henry-Moore-dug-for-victory.html)
I must now find out more about Moore’s background and inspiration, intriguing.