We visited SGMA Two on Monday 19th November. Rachel Smith, the Assistant Curator showed us around. There were 100 + paintings plus works on paper on show. There was also a video which can be accessed on-line. In the Keiller Library, memorabilia was on display. The remit was to respond to the exhibition in book form. A panel of museum staff and ECA staff were to select from the entries in order to put on a display within the Library. There were strict criteria as regards size to follow.
My first impressions of Peploe were of colour, rhythm and repeats - particularly in his still life paintings. The backdrops tended to be regular in design - horizontal bands, roughly trianglular in nature of pure colour. Fans - closed, jugs and flowers were constant motifs.
We were told that the flowers had been identified by botanists and I looked up several, La Tosca, white - Antoine Rivoire, aprictot - Mme Caroline Testout and Mrs George Sawyer, both pink. Finally Marragon, Madonna lillies and Turks cap Lillies - used at the end of his life to depict the fragility of life and old-age.
I decided to make a fan based on his life, a sort of biography of Peploe as artist. The book would take the shape of a fan, with seven peaks, one for each decade of his life. The inner fold of each section would have a printed wedge of colour, following his own use of colours closely. These roughly translated to the colours of the rainbow, pale pink, darker pink, apricot, yellow, green, violet and purple. Hence the pink of youth to the purple of old age.
The fan would open out to pages based on the lace section of a fan with laser cut-outs echoing motifs in his paintings. The wedges of triangular colour of the backdrops, petal/brush stroke shapes and finally the lily itself.
I wanted to have a collapsable box for it to sit in. Rather fragile, I did not want it handled too often. Time ran out and I was only able to make the base. I made another box in one-sided card in order to contain it all, packed with tissue paper to protect it.
The base was held together by black ribbon which when taken off would allow the base to open and the book to be arranged on top.
This was a very long project. From initial visit in November it took me to the 25th or so of February to complete. The wedges of colour were screen printed. The cut-outs resulted from a lot of new technology - photoshop, illustrator and ethos computer applications. I had the satisfaction of seeing everything from scratch - the inspiration, design
Carol E Duff