Friday, November 23, 2012

Beryl Bainbridge exhibition showcases acclaimed author's hidden talent

Museum of Liverpool show features 15 of her paintings and draws links to her books, family, lovers and life in the city
Boarding the Titanic by Beryl Bainbridge
Boarding the Titanic by Beryl Bainbridge. Photograph: © The Estate of Beryl Bainbridge, 2012. Kindly reproduced by Thames and Hudson Ltd

Beryl Bainbridge's eminence as a novelist eclipsed her other, hidden, talent – that of a painter.
The award-winning writer harboured a life-long passion to create on canvas which was as ardent as that she held for the written word, though the true extent of this artistic flair would not be revealed publicly until after her death.
Now works by the celebrated author are to be exhibited together for the first time in her home town in a special exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool.
Bainbridge, who died in 2010, painted from an early age. In later life, she was drawn to it particularly immediately after completing a novel, when she felt total freedom to express herself.
The acclaimed novelist, whose classics include An Awfully Big Adventure, Every Man for Himself and Master Georgie, began by writing stories inspired by family life in her teenage years that were illustrated with her own art work.
Born in Liverpool and raised in Formby, she had a strong emotional tie to both and drew heavily on them for inspiration. The exhibition, called Beryl Bainbridge, Painter, which opens next month, includes 15 of her paintings, exploring the connections between each one and her best-loved novels, family, lovers and life in Liverpool.
"She may not have had any formal training, but Beryl's paintings reveal a vibrant and exuberant style that mirrored her distinctive personality and storytelling technique," said the exhibition's curator, Paul Gallagher.
Paintings featured include portraits of her children – Aaron, Jojo and Rudi, to whom she left 18 canvases – as well as depictions of the Titanic, Captain Scott's journey to the south pole and Napoleon.
Many can be linked to books such as Harriet Said, A Weekend With Claude, The Birthday Boys and The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, which was published after her death.
Full article at The Guardian

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