Cellardyke Studio

Before The Wall Came Down

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Antigone

“Antigone”
Oil on canvas
1988
Size: 137 x 200 cm

Antigone (detail)

“Antigone (detail)”
Oil on canvas
1988
Size: 137 x 200 cm

Cassandra

“Cassandra”
Oil on canvas
1988
Size: 137 x 200 cm

In Edinburgh during the festival in August 1987 I had the chance to see how the theatre that Brecht formed, the Berliner Ensemble, interpreted not only Brecht's own work (The Caucasian Chalk Circle) but also work long known in the English speaking world - William Shakespeare's Troilius and Cressida. Brecht himself had long admired this latter work and the Berliner Ensemble production was a masterpiece of simplicity, showing the futility of war (both Greeks and Trojans had forgotten why they had started fighting in the first place) and the duplicity of politicians using people in the 'game' of war. The scenery was stark in its simplicity, the dominant feature being a large white sail cloth which was used in many different ways from billowing scene closer to table cloth to dramatic wrap for Cassandra.

Coming Up For Air

“Coming Up For Air”
Oil on canvas
1988
Size: 137 x 200 cm

Der Aufbruch Die Schwarze Anna

“Der Aufbruch Die Schwarze Anna”
Oil on canvas
1988
Size: 137 x 200 cm

Mother Courage Der Stummer Schrei

“Mother Courage Der Stummer Schrei”
Oil on canvas
1987
Size: 150 x 150 cm

The Soldier Of La Ciotat

“The Soldier Of La Ciotat”
Oil on canvas
1988
Size: 137 x 200 cm

In the little southern French harbour town of La Ciotat at a fair celebrating the launch of a ship after the first world war, we saw, standing in an open square, the bronze figure of a soldier of the French army, surrounded by a crowd of people. We came nearer and discovered that it was a living person that stood there on a stone pedestal in the hot sun of June, unmoving in a coat the colour of earth-brown, the steel helmet on his head, a bayonet in his arms. His face and hands were painted bronze. He moved not a muscle, not even his eyelids moved. At his feet on the pedestal leaned a piece of cardboard, on which the following text appeared:

The Human Statue
(L'Homme Statue)

I, Charles Louis Franchard, soldier in the xth Regiment, gained, as the result of being entombed at Verdun, the unusual skill of existing in a completely immovable state and of presenting myself as if I were a statue for as long a time as desired.
This, my ability, has been tested by many professors and declared to be an unexplainable malady. Please give an unemployed father of a family a small donation.
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