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Art Student Book Three 1970-71

Art Student Book Three 1970-71

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Art Student Book Three 1970-71

561 pages
3 heures
Sep 29, 2017


If you wanted to enjoy yourself back in 1968, and were so inclined, you might possibly think about going to Art College, perhaps in London, and spending your summer holidays wandering around the great galleries of Europe including the Louvre, the Prado and the Vatican, as well as visiting the Parthenon, the caves of Altamira and Pompeii.
This account of such indulgence, a mosaic of short episodes, is the platform for presenting the History of Art, Literature and especially Film as it was encountered, using hyperlinks for reference and illustration. A series of five books presents the whole rose tinted reminiscence beginning with the first book in Bournemouth-by-the-Sea, all that time ago, when Modern Art was, indeed, still relatively modern.
The many references to Literature and History, throughout the books, reflect what the Fine Arts once enjoyed. This was a happy synthesis between Art, History and Literature. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Fine Arts were deprived of this by other Art forms, which included Illustration, Photography, and particularly Film. The consequence of these developments was an ideology of what little remained. This was called Modern Art.
In Book Three Giles and his two student friends found themselves in Athens as dawn was breaking. Greece, at this time, had a military government and soldiers patrolled everywhere. The Parthenon and then over to Italy where they managed to see the Scrovegni Chapel, the Venice Biennale, Pompeii, the Vatican and Florence. Then Giles split for hitching back, over the Alps to England.
For the second year at Wimbledon, he was sharing a chaotic house with four others where he first experienced drugs, ending up talking to a train. As well as painting, Giles played with some sculptural ideas. Jack smith was a tutor. The year flew by and soon they were planning their next trip; Morocco and Spain this time and back through Paris.

Sep 29, 2017

À propos de l'auteur

The pseudonymous author, Giles Winterborne, went to Bournemouth College of Art in 1968, Wimbledon School of Art in 1969 and the Institute of Education in 1973. He worked as a schoolteacher in London, doing up property and then making antiques in Devon, whilst showing his paintings. Being retired gave him time to write about his distant life as an Art Student.

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Art Student Book Three 1970-71 - Giles Winterborne


ART STUDENT Book Three 1971-72

The Introduction

If you wanted to enjoy yourself back in 1968, and were so inclined, you might possibly think about going to Art College, perhaps in London, and spending your summer holidays wandering around the great galleries of Europe including the Louvre, the Prado and the Vatican, as well as visiting the Parthenon, the caves of Altamira and Pompeii.

This account of such indulgence, a mosaic of short episodes, is the platform for presenting the History of Art, Literature and especially Film as it was encountered, using hyperlinks for reference and illustration. A series of five books presents the whole rose tinted reminiscence beginning with the first book in Bournemouth-by-the-Sea, all that time ago, when Modern Art was, indeed, still relatively modern.

The many references to Literature and History, throughout the books, reflect what the Fine Arts once enjoyed. This was a happy synthesis between Art, History and Literature. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Fine Arts were deprived of this by other Art forms, which included Illustration, Photography, and particularly Film. The consequence of these developments was an ideology of what little remained. This was called Modern Art.

It was all such a long time ago but I would, nevertheless, not want to embarrass the characters I describe so I have made everybody anonymous and given them the names from the dramatis personae of Thomas Hardy novels unless, of course they are undoubtedly dead.

I hope the inclusion of pronunciation advice is not too annoying but Goethe, Nietzsche, Ingres and Laocoön are really just asking for trouble.

The sad fact, and one of the reasons for this eBook enterprise, is I was talking to the once fellow student recently, the character I call Springrove in the books, and he and I agreed we would not follow the same path and go to Art College today; the immense debts incurred would not be worth the education, much of which is self-driven anyway.

The internet provides education, access to images, commentary, discussion, platforms for publishing and the means for expression which were not available then. Today I would write a blog, and have exhibitions online, because I think constructive criticism is also important. Whether you take heed of it, or not, is another matter.

Art Student Book Three 1970-71

Chapter 1A: Ringway

‘Look at the planes Giles. Look, there’s one taking off, can you see it? Quick, over there. Can you see it Billy?’

When Giles and his brother, Billy, were very young the Winterbornes would park their Morris Minor Shooting Brake alongside the perimeter fence of Ringway Airport, not far from their house in Manchester, to watch the planes taking off and landing. Airflight had been rather exclusive in those days because civilian flights were still expensive. Not so glamorous now, with the advent of package holidays.

This was Giles’ first encounter with the world of the air travel. Of course his grandparents had been born before planes had ever been invented; neither of his parents had flown and here he was, taking off in a BEA BAC One-Eleven. The BAC 1-11 was built at Hurn Airport, where Chris Coney’s father was something quite important. The engines being tested over at the airport had been a familiar sound in the garden.

The three belated passengers were all separated, being the very last on the plane. When the stewardess returned with Giles’ Alka Seltzer everyone turned round to see who it was who was such an obvious first time flyer. No one else looked like a student.

The Duty Frees came round and Giles and Felix stocked up with posh fags, American for Giles, Marlboro in packs of two hundred. He also had a whisky and looked across the narrow cabin and out of the window where he could see the lights far down there in the dark: abroad. He chatted a bit when his headache shoved off and the two hours went very quickly, going to the loo just to see what it was like.

It was not long before the stewardesses came round with some chewing gum to stop the ears popping, and then they were doing their seat belts up again for Athens Airport, the pilot said.

Chapter 1A: Hyperlinks

Ringway Airport


BEA Airways




Hurn Airport


Duty Free


Chapter 1B: Syntagma Square

Suddenly, a couple of hours, they were there and landing, and out of the plane into the cool night air, and onto a bus and then into the enormous reception at Ellinikon International Airport. Here they waited in the queue for customs, got a cross on their rucksacks and duly had their passports stamped, August 27 1970. Armed soldiers stood by and watched, in a bored, disinterested way.

They had nowhere to go where they could sleep so they decided to hang on, perhaps a snooze, before catching the bus into Athens. There were a few people about, perhaps waiting for a plane, and a multitude of cleaners, polishing the floor. None of them managed the snooze.

Athens airport is out of town, like London, and a thirty minute bus ride brought them through the early morning suburbs of Athens to the centre, to a place called Syntagma Square where they were deposited at the end of the night.

This could be Trafalgar Square in the coming cold light of dawn, with fountains and pigeons but covered in trees. They found some seats beside a café, not yet open, and looked about them. The huge Greek Parliament building, happily Neoclassical, overlooked the square.

Syntagma means Constitution, which the first modern monarch of Greece granted the people after another military uprising, back in 1843. The history of Greece, ancient and modern, revolved around military activity. A squad of armed soldiers was advancing through the pigeons. They passed by, lads about their age looking back at them.

There was a strange looking, pointed hill behind the buildings surrounding the square, one of which was the Hotel Grande Bretagne. They could not see the Parthenon but they were here, finally. Finally they were abroad and where, whatever happened, they must not drink the water.

Chapter 1B: Hyperlinks

Ellinikon International Airport


Syntagma Square


Syntagma Square


Chapter 1C: Moussaka

Whad’he say?

Moosark or somink!

The Greek money was the drachma and only Felix had changed some of his money back in England; he had paid for the bus from the airport and was now affording them breakfast.

They had wandered into what looked like a café, in a side street off the square, a fairly crowded room open to the street, for this so called breakfast, which was a disaster. Not having any Greek whatsoever they asked for breakfast in English. Shortly water and bread, coffee, and something else on plates, was put in front of them. They had forked their way tentatively into this substance, and tried some.

It’s cold!

It’s ‘orrible!

This is why we have to take the enterovioform. Now!

After taking their medication they sat there and prodded this, their first Greek meal and made faces and drank coffee, which tasted like mud, from what seemed to be cups made for a doll’s house. They ate some of the bread, that had come with the cold Moosark, and duly left, extremely disappointed.

Giles had £40 in travellers cheques; it was written at the back of his passport. The limit at this time, for British people travelling abroad, was fifty pounds. They were going to see a lot of American Express Offices on this trip. These were where you could buy tickets, and exchange your travellers cheques at a slightly better rate than the Bureau de Change. They were also where the young tourists, English, German, Dutch, Scandinavian and Australian but mostly American, and mostly students, gathered and chatted, flirted and postured, as they waited in queues.

The three travellers had heard of these before they set off and back in, a now bustling, Syntagma Square they had approached some obvious rucksack carriers for directions. The Office was in that corner, just over there and, after buying packets of biscuits at a kiosk on a nearby street to keep themselves alive, they wandered over to get some drachmas, about seventy to a pound, pay back Felix, and to find out where the Acropolis was. Nearby apparently and there was a bus; this was fortunate as the rucksacks seemed heavier than ever.

Chapter 1C: Hyperlinks





Athens kiosks


American Express


Bureau de Change


Chapter 2A: Delian League

The Greco-Persian Wars were the Greeks fighting a series of immense Persian military invasions, which took place over about fifty years between 499BC and 449BC. Herodotus wrote the book.

This book, The Histories was called an inquiry into the origins of these invasions which went all the way back to Troy; the Greek word for inquiry is where the modern word for history originates. The Books 7, 8 and 9 describe the Second Persian invasion which occurred in 480 to 479BC led by the Persian King Xerxes I, pronounced zurk seez.

Greece, now, in the time of the Colonels, was not too far away from the military climate of Ancient Greece. The Battle of Thermopylae, pronounced thur mop pil lie, 480BC, about a hundred miles north of Athens, was less than a thousand Spartan Hoplites and Greek warriors led by the Spartan Leonidas, holding off a massive Persian army in a narrow pass full of hot springs for seven days, until betrayed and outflanked. This, however, allowed time for the rest of the Greek army to retreat.

The Battle of Salamis, pronounced salar mis in the same year, was a sea victory for the Greeks, the main reason being the smaller Greek ships being able to manoeuvre in the tight sea straits off the coast of Athens, whilst the larger Persian ships could not. The Persians did reach Athens, and sacked the city, but the disparate Greeks were beginning to coalesce.

The Delian League, pronounced deelian, formed shortly afterwards in 478BC, was an alliance of Greek city states to pay tribute funds to fight the Persians. The funds of the Delian League, however, were appropriated by the Athenian General, Pericles, in 454 BC and brought to Athens, from the island of Delos, and used to build the Parthenon. The gold was deposited within the huge statue of Athena, inside the temple. The Delian League was now the Athenian Empire, and the Parthenon its bank.

Chapter 2A: Hyperlinks

Greco-Persian Wars




The Histories


Second Persian Invasion


Battle of Thermopylae


Leonidas at Thermopylae


Battle of Salamis


Delian League




Chapter 2B: Parthenon

Polis means city and Acropolis means upper city. The Acropolis was the rock, the original defensive citadel, upon which the temple to Athena, the Parthenon, stood and it took some climbing, with their rucksacks, up the path between the stone blocks strewn about the entrance. And the sun was beginning to feel very foreign indeed. This temple was built between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian Wars by Pericles, roughly between 447 BC and 430 BC. Note, possibly very unnecessary: the BC dates diminish towards the birth of Christ.

The money obviously ran out because the Parthenon has no walls, just lots and lots of doors. The Greeks, for all their invention, did not conceive of the arch, beyond the post and lintel, the single piece of horizontal stone across two uprights, which they probably nicked from Stonehenge. The round arch is Roman. Shelley’s Queen Mab bewails:

Low through the lone cathedral’s roofless aisles

The melancholy winds a death-dirge sung.

It were a sight of awfulness to see

The works of faith and slavery, so vast,

So sumptuous, yet so perishing withal

The Acropolis was covered in tourists, all jabbering away and wanting their photos taken. Neither of the three had thought to bring a camera. Looking at each other in disbelief, they plonked a tired Felix down, with their rucksacks, in the shade so John and Giles could mosey around and take a good butchers.

Giles heard from a loud American, in a shirt to match, that down the steep side of the citadel you could see the Theatre of Dionysus, the oldest theatre in Greece! Then proceeding farther down inside the temple to the far end, they came to the Erechtheum which presumably means extension in Greek. This is the temple to Poseidon and had female figures for columns called Caryatids. Giles had already seen one in the British Museum.

Athena is how the city gets its name. She had no lover in mythology and was called Athena Parthenos, Virgin Athena, which is where the word Parthenon comes from. She was meant to be wise, often seen consulting with her pet owl; the Romans adopted her and called her Minerva.

Chapter 2B: Hyperlinks





Post and lintel


Queen Mab


Theatre of Dionysus






Athena Parthenos




Chapter 2C: Phidias

The Parthenon was supposed to have been built under the supervision of the sculptor Phidias, pronounced fideeus, who sculpted the huge statue of Athena for which the Parthenon was built to contain. He was also responsible for the decoration in the pediments, the triangular bits at the ends, and the metopes, the marble panels along the sides, and the frieze inside the temple. This is well illustrated in the painting, Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. All these were the bits that were taken by Lord Elgin and became known as the Elgin Marbles which Giles had seen in the British Museum last year.

If you imagine a line which is divided into two, into a longer half and a shorter half, the Golden Ratio or Golden Proportion is when the smaller half is relative to the longer half in the same ratio as the longer half is relative to the whole line.

This ratio is thought to be employed all over the Parthenon by Phidias and in the twentieth century this proportion was begun to be represented by the Greek letter phi, called so after Phidias. The Golden Ratio has been used by artists and architects ever since the Ancient Greeks.

Athens was the location for, Timon of Athens, by Shakespeare, from which these lines are taken:

Those milk-paps

That through the window-bars bore at men’s eyes.

On the contrary the Ancient Greeks for a large part thought that the eyes of men bore at the nipples. Sight, the Ancient Greeks thought, worked by the eyes sending out miniscule atoms to capture whatever was there and to bring it back.

It is surprising then that such a sophisticated refinement called entasis is thought to have been used on the Parthenon. Entasis appears to encourage all sorts of speculation, and argument, about what it is and how it occurs. The word, itself, means ‘swelling’ and they have discovered all sorts of goings on by way of optical illusion accommodating the fallibility of eyesight: the Ancient Greeks bending the rules. No right angles and no straight lines exist in the whole construction: Buckminster Fuller. It is more of an optical instillation than a building.

The Parthenon, and all the decoration, was finally finished in BC 430. Included amongst the people who would have eyeballed the temple were: the historian, Thucydides, the philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Democritus and Epicurus, and the playwrights, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Then, at a later date they would have included Virgil, Plutarch, and more recently still, Shelley and Byron.

Chapter 2C: Hyperlinks

Statue of Athena








Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends


Golden Ratio




Timon of Athens




Parthenon finished


Chapter 3A: Midsummer

The founding myth of Athens concerns the Ancient Greek character, Theseus, pronounced thee seeus. Shakespeare later borrowed this name for the Duke of Athens in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the play he is engaged to the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, and their wedding will take place under the next full moon, in four days’ time. Some of this Shakespeare lifted from Metamorphoses by the Roman poet, Ovid, who in turn would have lifted it from Herodotus. The Amazons, the tribe of female warriors, were allies of the Trojans and fought the invading Greeks.

Much of the action in this play takes place, at night, in woods close to Athens. The characters include a bunch of faeries, led by their queen, Titania, whose consort is Oberon, who is helped by Puck, his cupid jester, who is also called Robin Goodfellow, so all sorts of allusions. Then there are the mechanicals, meaning craftsmen, for the pastoral comical interludes. This local, decidedly amateur, Amateur Dramatic Society are controlled by the faeries, as they rehearse a play about Pyramus and Thisbe, in the strange faerie moonlight. Goethe lifted Titania and Oberon for his play, Faust.

Shakespeare’s audience would have known these mechanicals, familiar characters with no need for an introduction. Giles always thought of Tom Snout wiping his fingers after Pyramus and Thisbe try kissing through his wall.

Chapter 3A: Hyperlinks

A Midsummer Night’s Dream


A Midsummer Night’s Dream








Titania and Bottom


Pyramus and Thisbe


Tom Snout


Chapter 3B: The Dream

Johnnie, Felix and Giles had rested after being returned to Syntagma Square, but as it became dusk they had wearily begun to wander the streets looking for a park or somewhere to put a sleeping bag.

Then, with it getting dark and in the light of street lamp, they came across the corner of a high wall where they could discern a route, holes for hands and feet well worn, presumably by children, over into the trees on the other side. They had climbed the wall, and discovered a thick, dark wood, possibly the grounds of a large house. Lugging their rucksacks over, they dropped down and felt their way between the trees and were soon ensconced in their sleeping bags and unconscious to the world.

Loud music suddenly woke the slumbering Englishmen. Not in the least melodious but strident and starting and stopping. Johnnie was awake and annoyed. He was never happy being woken up as Giles and Felix were to discover. Giles could see Felix lighting a cigarette. There was a curious distant light shining up through the trees whereby they could see the hillside drop away. This was where the noise was coming from.

More awake now they found the distant light intriguing. After a while they all slowly shed their sleeping bags and drifted towards it, down the hill, negotiating between the trees. The light became brighter as the ground sloped up again, the noise louder. Now they could hear shouting and as they drew closer they were more concerned they should stay out of sight. They were not meant to be here.

Suddenly there was a huge white, bright space below them, full of soldiers, and they were square bashing to marching music over a loudspeaker. A sergeant major was bawling at the marching men. Then the three students saw an officer, a Generalissimo presumably, prancing up and down on a white horse. These Greek soldiers were obviously rehearsing some forthcoming military occasion in this long, marble white stadium, cut into the side of the wooded hillside.

Go and tell them to keep the noise down. Some of us are trying to get some sleep! suggested

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