Well I'm over half way through painting my Ripley Rattlers series and this week has seen number 22 and 23 completed. Plus some extra research in the form of attending a talk on the history of the Rattlers which included a video from 1986. Of interest to me was the discussion afterwards about how DH Lawrence used his knowledge of an area to set the mood for his stories, and this is something I try to do myself using my knowledge of the route I also travelled to highlight the features that I noticed from the bus such as the corner of Victoria Street in Eastwood above where DH Lawrence was born and The Great Northern Pub below that sits beside a canal edge that could be so picturesque if not for the builders merchants and sweeping main road!
Listening to the audience chatting in between readings and talks, it is clear that people are passionate about their areas history especially recent history that their parents and grandparents knew. Its so familiar to us but also lost to us. That is why old photographs and collective memories recounted on film are so important. Art has always inadvertently recorded history and it is how I learnt all about Australia when I went to live there through studying old paintings. In my work I am capturing this 100th anniversary year of The Ripley Rattlers Route as it is right now, and already some of the things I have painted have been changed, doors painted shops closed or opened.
But a lot of what was around 100 years ago remains if a little faded!
It is very rewarding painting this series it is taking me to events and educating me a little about DH Lawrence I will never be an expert on him but its been nice to be introduced!