BADAS Meeting March 21st 2019

The Weatherley Centre Biggleswade

Professor Anthony Slinn : His own working Life
(not Masterpieces of the 20th Century)

Anthony and his twin brother were born in June 1937. He attended King’s Worcester Boarding School but had to leave as his father was ill. He then went to St Helen’s Art School, followed by The Regional College of Art in Liverpool and then the Slade School of Art in London. It was here that Professor Ernst Gombrich instructed students in the History of art; he is famous for his valuable book The Story of Art. It was here that Anthony decided to visit many of the places of which he spoke…and he subsequently did. He loves sharing what he has learned with his audiences.
In his youth, Anthony travelled around Lancashire during summer holidays with his father, a sign writer. This informed his early work….photo realism and precision. He has always been full of ideas and wanting to work widely, freely and flexibly taking inspiration for many artists and situations along the way. In the words of Van Gogh he agrees “I’d rather have a failure than do nothing”
He is an avid collector of litter and interesting things eg cigarette packets, lighters, bells, photos of the Beatles often found in Camberwell where he lives. He also enjoys making frames so puts the two together, he showed us a frame full of carefully colour coded lighters ….his mind he says is always working and developing crazy ideas.
At the Slade he almost always painted nudes and antiques and rather wishes he had gone to The Royal College of Art alongside Hockney who was doing Pop Art, and has enjoyed great success and fame.
He showed a few slides of his studio at Digswell House in London which houses a lot of his works, unfortunately he says he has never sold well. One series of paintings were inspired by Haiku – Japanese 3 line poems. He used a slide projector to paint photo realistic images on very large panels over which he would add lines of text eg an image of Vincent Van Gogh with words from his letters over the top. He recommends reading the letters of Vincent and his brother Theo Van Gogh for insight to an incredible record of someone’s life.

Professor Slinn last visited our Society in March 2015 and gave an interesting presentation on Gaugin. He has given hundreds of such presentations on the lives and works of famous artists over his career. This time he added that the slide projector itself seems to be intriguing to younger audiences who have never seen one before his!