Friday, October 30, 2009

Well Head and Mountains

A half term trip to York this week included a look round York City Art Gallery which houses the Milner-White Collection.  Eric Milner-White, Dean of York, was one of the great 20th century collector-clerics; his contemporary Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester, amassed another impressive collection now displayed at the Pallant House Gallery.  Among the Milner-White acquisitions on display is Bernard Leach's panel of tiles Well Head and Mountains (1929).  In A Potter's Work, Leach wrote of this that 'the design is imaginary but derived from things seen and felt in the mountains of Japan, although the various elements had, to me a long-term significance of a pictorial kind.'  Another account makes clear that this is a kind of personal oneiric vision, resembling others I've mentioned here before (like Kafka's Amerika), where the distorted and simplified landscape, imagined at a distance, has its own poetic truth.  Leach wrote in Beyond East and West, 'the peaks of the high Japan Alps became part of a dreamland which I often drew or even painted on pots.  That picture has remained with me all through life.' 

Bernard Leach, Well Head and Mountains, 1929

1 comment:

Florin Cosma said...

I too am interested in landscape, I propose a link exchange, my blog is

What do you say?