Vemilion Goldfish, for me, is a project of love. It is for my own purposes as much as it is to share experiences and knowledge. I’m very fortunate to work at the University of East Anglia (UEA), whereby I have the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art(SCVA) on my doorstep, and as a member, I get to visit their exhibition as many times as it takes for me to truly appreciate the art, photography and sculpture on show. No more blurred memories, and an appreciation of Modern-, World-, and Contemporary Art.
I remember the exact moment I saw my first Dali painting, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1936-7. It was the same day I saw my first Lichtenstein, Whaam! 1963, and my first Picasso, Les Trois Danseuses (The Three Dancers), 1925. I had visited the Tate Gallery, London, on my return from a visit to the British Museum, where I had been researching my dissertation on the erotic artefacts of Pompeii. I remember coming away feeling overwhelmed and in awe, and yet my memory of seeing them is only that of excitement. I repeated this forgetful process when I visited Paris in 2015.
My husband and I had visited the Musée du Louvre with the sole purpose of seeing the Hermaphrodite Sleeping. Very selfish when you think of the other great works that deserve equal attention. When we arrived in the Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities area of the museum, we arrived at an empty marble plinth. We discovered that she was out on loan to The Velázquez Exhibition at the Grande Palais. When we arrived, we weaved through the exhibition, shamefully ignoring every piece of artwork. As we reached the last room of the exhibition, there she was, Hermaphrodite Sleeping, as exquisite as I expected, and even more stunning as she was mirroring The Rokeby Venus, 1647-51. By that evening, as we sat in the windmill theatre that is Moulin Rouge, I couldn’t recall anything but the emotions. It was a blur. It is because of this reason I wanted to start recording my love of art in detail, so I could recall and relive the experience.
The artists who made me fall in love with art
There are numerous artists and movements that I could spend hours listing as being responsible for my love of art. However, much like any passion, there are only a few that positively excite me. For me, these are:
Trouille was a restorer and decorator, who joined the Surrealists purely for the exposure, and was rarely seen with other members of the movement.
Giacometti was a Swiss artist, sculptor and print-maker. At home in his tiny studio in Paris, his work is often described as haunting.
Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor and set designer. He was the most innovative and prolific artists of the time. He was a genius.