Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Past in the Present

'Still Life of Arum Lilies and Tulips' 1940 (Gouache and Oil on Paper on Board, 72 x 47 cm)

So very strange how your past can collide back into your present.

When I was living in London as a kid, I knew Eve Disher (1894-1991).

Eve Disher as I Knew Her - We're Just About to Head Out for Dins

In her eighties then, she'd been a minor painter connected with the Bloomsbury Group, whose central and more periphery members included at various times Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell, Lytton Strachey, the economist John Maynard Keynes, D H Lawrence, Bertrand Russell and E M Forster.

As I mentioned in a previous post (Lady Ottoline Morrell and Sociability), Eve very much influenced how I engage other people, or try to. When I first met her in her large Eccleston Square flat, wall-papered with the history of British avante garde painting of the first half of the C20, she sat me down and said 'Hello, I'm Eve. Lovely to meet you! Tell me all about yourself'. Which was not condescension or a segue just to talk about her own life. And I've attempted to hold on tight to this idea of intense selfless warmth and empathy ever since. E M Forster's 'only connect'.

Now, quite recently, I was browsing through eBay, as you do, when I stunned to see a somewhat familiarish painting of Eve's on offer from someone in France. And with a click of my ruby credit cards, the work was on my doorstep 3/4 days later.

When I turned it over, I noticed 'Provenance: The Artist's Collection' ...

... and was over-whelmed with emotion, realising the work was one I'd seen hanging on one of her walls way back when.

It seems to me time is not linear, but the past infused in the present.

And I'm now more intensely aware of Eve in my life, thanks to the near magic of online purchasing!

1 comment:

  1. interested to hear you met Eve Disher. she was a friend of my mother who recently died and we found one of Eve's paintings.