Budding art critic and SPI Communications Lead, Khris Raistrick, gives his take on the Stanley Hall’s paintings that have recently been cataloged.
‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’. We’ve all heard the phrase, and I’m afraid it most certainly applies to me. I saw a painting in a Finnish art gallery of a woman in a phone booth about 20 years ago that I thought was all right. Near where I used to live in the badlands of New Cross, had it not it dawned on me oh-too-late that the stencil paintings in the nearby tunnels were by Banksy I’d have found someone with a JCB and relieved Lewisham Council of the wall before they painted over them [and yet the somewhat surreal graffiti ‘Yuppies Go Home’ and even more bizarre ‘Kim Wilde’ on nearby walls survived] and I’d now be living in Jersey.
So – I’m a bit of a heathen, though I am sure some of the luminaries on the SPI could explain to me why a pile of bricks is not just a pile of bricks when someone has shoved them on the floor of an art gallery, put a barrier around them, and given them a ‘contextual meaning’. [Actually, I really would like to get a job writing the stuff that goes alongside these works. It usually involves the phrase ‘challenges your pre-conceptions about what art really is’].
Anyway, for those of you who like their art a little more, er, traditional, you might be interested in looking at some paintings that used to hang in Stanley Halls and now line the corridors of Croydon Council, have a look here.
They were painted by eminent artists who were contemporaries of William Stanley. Rumour has it that a number of the original paintings were sold years back by the Council ………Hmm, a quick check on sale prices for some of the artists shown in the link above hint at a great value. A painting by one of the artists, Kosler sold for over quarter of a million sovs.
The paintings left Stanley Halls when the ownership passed to Croydon Council in 1934. There were originally 70 works displayed in Stanley’s purpose built gallery, one attributed to Turner. Wonder where that one is now?
Much respect goes to SPI members Debbie Challis and Judith Burden for digging these out of the archives and for cataloguing them.
Perhaps you don’t know much about art but you know what you like – and you might like these. My verdict? I know one thing – it’s ‘proper’ painting. And all part of Stanley Halls’ rich heritage….