Monday, December 8, 2014

Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell

Many, many years ago I read Virginia Woolf's essay, "A Room of Ones Own".  I was a young mother at the time and the idea of a room of my own (for working/creating) sounded a imperative "yes!"  It took years to actually have a physical room of my own, but in the interim, I appropriated a place in the seldom used living room for a small desk with a view of our dogwood tree outside.  This was the place for journaling, letter writing and dreaming.  For a studio, I did something similar in the basement.  Today, the little writing desk still serves as my writing room.  I still have a basement art studio, but a larger room with white walls and good lighting.  Virginia Woolf often comes into mind when I'm working in "my room".  I've read a good many of her books and at least two biographies.  This past July, while we were visiting London, I visited an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, "Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision".  The exhibit included many of her letters, photographs and early editions of her books.  The art included portraits by and of her Bloomsbury contemporaries:  Vanessa Bell (her sister), Roger Fry, George Charles Beresford and Man Ray.  Vanessa and Virginia were very close all of their lives and so it was most interesting viewing Vanessa's paintings of Virginia, their friends and the interiors of the houses they occupied and visited.  Before this exhibit, I was familiar with a dozen or so of Vanessa's paintings.  Today I found many more on this website.  Something new to me was her interest in cubist painting.  Found this site at the Tate which I will explore later.  In an earlier post, I mentioned my July visit to the Tate Modern where I thought I would see more of Vanessa Bell and I may have posted the only painting I saw there--this one below:  "Abstract Painting" c. 1914.  





Photos taken on the way to the Tate Modern


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