Saturday, 19 November 2016

To the Ends of the Earth with Norman Akroyd R.A.

What an amazing, if austere sight;

At the entrance to Charing Cross Hospital is an array of etchings by Norman Ackroyd R.A. donated to the Imperial College Healthcare Art Collection by the artist himself. In 2017 they will be moving on to St. Mary's and Hammersmith Hospitals by turns.

Atkinson has drawn some amazing views of the barren outposts of the Irish and Scottish Coasts and Islands.

This amazing and gaunt picture is of 'Stac An Armin' on St. Kilda, a very remote group of islands on the furthermost edge of the Outer Hebrides.

It could be the ends of the earth.

A couple of years ago Akroyd was filmed by BBC 2 to show how etchings are made from his London studio. This usually follows a fairly precarious spell sketching on a boat on wild seas before returning to London and carving the images onto copper plates which are then differentially acid washed to create the shading and detail before the printing process begins.

So it was nice to be face to face with the pictures themselves; pictures of wild and windy outposts, of borderlands and frontiers, literally of the ends of the earth, of World's End.

Meanwhile I had a really, really painful couple of days which (of course) had to coincide with two days of hospital appointments and chemotherapy.

I got yet more bad news - I think I would have been more upset if I hadn't been in such pain. The journeys were a if I'd just made a dramatic boat trip to the Outer Hebrides themselves.

So I had a bleak couple of days.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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