William Blake (1757 – 1827) : the enigmatic and inspirational , visionary artist and poet was reimagined during this conference as a kind of time- transcending ‘ influencer’ , a counter-culture spark , revolutionary and predictor of future visual arts developments.
How did I come here?
Who now remembers Edward Young?
I arrived early and was whisked into the bible room with the special collections curator to have an eyes on experience with some beautiful original works by Blake and those influenced by him such as Jeff Nutall in Bomb Culture.
The most striking and powerful book for me was a copy of Night Thoughts written by the poet Edward Young . When asked, the curator told me the etchings had been hand coloured in water colour by Blake. According to the Blake Archive the book has 537 watercolour illustrations.
Young, Edward, ‘The complaint, and the consolation; or, Night thoughts’ (London: printed by R. Noble, for R. Edwards, 1797)
The curator asked us ” Who now remembers Edward Young?” which made me consider the power of the art and the fact that even though Blake was a poet these were not his words, yet the work visually speaking is held in his name.
There is no substitute for proximity to the original hand of the artist. What struck me was the sheer volume and quality of the
Questions and concepts continued to develop and blossom as I later worked in the studio.