[based on her words in John Read's film on Hepworth of 1961]
”I think this idea of a working holiday was established in my mind very early indeed. My father took us each year to Robin Hood’s Bay to stay in a house on the lovely beach. [...] here I laid out my paints and general paraphernalia and crept out at dawn to collect stones, seaweeds and paint, and draw by myself before somebody organised me! This pattern was repeated in Norfolk, and later in Greece, and several times in the Isles of Scilly.
It made a firm foundation for my working life – and it formed my idea that a woman artist is not deprived by cooking and having children [...] – one is in fact nourished by this rich life, provided one always does some work each day; even a single half hour, so that images grow in one’s mind.”
Brighton Pierrots 1915, Walter Sickert
“Despite the assocation of seaside pierrots with carefree holiday fun, the pervasive mood of Sickert’s painting is one of tension and melancholy. The contrived atmosphere of a stilted performance is suggested by the stiffness of the figures on the stage… The Brighton Gazette gamely reported an upbeat mood in the town but also printed the weekly casualty lists recording heavy losses from the front.” (Moorby, Modernism-on Sea)
It was not uncommon to find family memory so short, in these towns where nobody comes from, these south-eastern towns with their floating populations and their car parks where the centre should be. Nobody has roots here; and maybe they don’t want to acknowledge roots, or recall their grimy places of origin and their illiterate fore-mothers up north.
Beyond Black, Hilary Mantel.