Monday, 1 February 2010
Welcome to the post war school- high windowed times table inculcator, baby boomer incubator. Wooden floors, stale milk, chalk dust and inkwells. And not much to look at except 'teacher', a scratchy blackboard and a sepia picture of the Holy Land. If you were lucky. Thank God for Brenda and Derek Rawnsley, who thought enough is enough and brought the concept of contemporary art to the school wall. Brenda didn't hang about, and immediately cajoled leading artists to get down to the Baynard Press and start drawing backwards on limestone to produce a stunning series of original lithographs. She even flew to see Picasso, drinking champagne in the cockpit. I like that. And so the School Prints found themselves pinned-up in Bash Street in the 1940s. Michael Rothenstein's Timber Felling, Kenneth Rowntree's orange Tractor and good old John Nash's mouthwatering Window Plants and Harvest (above), which graces the baronial fireplace at Carrot Hall if the butler's not flogged it. Whatever happened to them? Torn, drawing pinned, used to make heavyweight paper darts? Possibly, but then Mike Goldmark finds a cache of them hidden away in Germany (of all places). As fresh and newly-minted as if they'd just come off the litho stone. He may get some more, but the first lot are a rapidly diminishing pile. Lord Carrot speaks to the nation: Buy some now, here, before the bell goes for playtime.