It continues to cause me wonder as to how an artist sees. I live in a beautiful part of the country (to some a little flat). I have seen beautiful things. But how does one move from seeing to actually putting what one sees onto paper – no matter what medium they are using. How does an artist take a truly mundane thing and turn it into art.
This is just a typical street which one would find in many of the small villages in this country at one time. And yet Mr Bennett has deemed it artistically worthy of portraying. Would I have chosen this view? And if I had – could I have made it as inviting and serene as Mr Bennett. One must thank artists for choosing such normality and preserving it. For by it we see what actually was/is and not what we might like it to have been/be. A history of the mundane things which we take for granted. A street in a village, a style of housing (Is the far left window the window of the outside loo?), an intersection (not a round-about) with no signs. These are things to take away with you to help you keep in mind what was. This is truly hands-on history. History which one can touch, look at up close and say – that is what it use to look like.
But art can also be something of loveliness and still be a portrayal of history. Bertram Armitage here has caught Dartmeet in a moment of time. A moment which cannot be repeated. The lovely hills of Dartmoor are a picture to behold. They are beauty serene. Is it Dartmeet Hill we see in the distance for if it is – then a visit to the Coffin Stone might be in order. Close to the road, halfway up Dartmeet Hill lies the Coffin Stone upon which coffins would be placed to allow the bearers taking bodies for burial at Widecombe-in-the-Moor a respite. The rock is split in two, along its length. Legend has it that the body of a particularly sinful man was laid there. God took exception to this, and struck the stone with a thunderbolt, destroying the coffin and splitting the stone in two.