30 April 2020
Have you been seeing rainbows? In windows all around Plymouth, as well as the UK, USA, Canada and Europe, children and adults have been crafting rainbows. They're connecting neighbours and communities whilst social distancing measures are in place, and helping to show support for our amazing frontline workers.
Come with us on a journey from the middle of the ocean to the green hills of Devon with this virtual rainbow compiled by our Senior Curator. We hope these works inspire you - especially if you're an art lover who can't visit any galleries or exhibitions at the moment, or you're thinking of creating a rainbow of your own.
Red: Rectilinear Reds and Blues, 1963 by Patrick Heron
Patrick Heron was a painter and writer who lived near Zennor in Cornwall, and was one of the most important figures in modern British art. His paintings up to this point were almost entirely improvised. In this work he began by mapping out his canvas with charcoal before working on it with oil. It was his first work to be concerned with distinct divisions on a surface – the interactions of colour and form. It marks a significant change in his working practice.
Orange: Pas, 1970 by Bryan Wynter
In 1965, Wynter experimented with kinetic works through a series called IMOOS (Images Moving Out Onto Space), using motor-driven painted boards that moved, mirrors and lights. After this, his practice became almost opposite to this approach – flowing, rhythmic works influenced by rivers and moving water, shown as static, flat marks on canvas. 'Pas', a detail of which is shown here, is a typical example.
Yellow: Yellow Suspended Form, 1979 by Terry Frost
Frost lived the latter part of his life in St Ives, Cornwall. He used collages like 'Yellow Suspended Form' as a way of investigating the relationship between light and natural form.
Green: Green Devon, 1919 by Robert Pohill Bevan
This was an easy choice. The verdant beauty of the Blackdown Hills in summertime drew Bevan down from London many times throughout his life. Normally a painter of urban scenes, he clearly valued the opportunity to capture landscapes like this one.
Blue: Under the Equator, 1932 by Herbert F. Williams-Lyouns
Williams-Lyouns was a printmaker and painter. He donated this view of a tropical sea to us in 1932. The rolling seas and cloudy sky are composed of many beautiful shades of blue.
Indigo: Reclining Figure by Josef Herman
A Polish émigré who fled Warsaw in 1938, Herman ended up in London, where he exhibited alongside L.S. Lowry in 1943. He then moved to Wales, where the working life of his local community became his focus. In this painting a worker takes a well-earned rest.
Violet: H.M.S. "Violet" Destroyer Submarine B.2. On Surface (Broadside On), 1907 by Douglas Everard Row
Ending on an unexpected violet! This watercolour and ink drawing shows the submarine H.M.S Violet in Plymouth Sound. It comes from an album of similar paintings of naval craft by the artist and was donated to us in 1970.