Homage to Ealing Boy Pete Townshend

image

Dylan’s air guitar tribute to Pete Townshend with added inspiration from the Who’s rock musical, ‘Tommy’. The image was devised in a portraiture workshop at Brentside High School after discussing Townshend’s links with the Ealing Music Club.

When I was about Dylan’s age I had a small flicker book of a black and white image of Pete Townshend jumping up with his guitar. I’d made it myself from [I think] corners of pages from Smash Hits magazine. You had to cut them out, stick them on card and hey presto, with the help of a bulldog clip…. a stop frame animation!

Pete Townshend is represented in the National Portrait Gallery by this fantastic coloured drawing by Clive Barker. Many of the year 10 students were drawn to the portrait when we viewed it in the Gallery.

Eelyn Lee, Artist

image

Image: Pete Townshend by Clive Barker, 1983 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Last week Brentside students collaborated with Eelyn Lee and her production team to realise their ideas about Ealing and the inspirational people connected to it. Filming on location at Pitzhanger Manor, Hanwell Community Hall and a (transformed) drama studio they took on the roles of performers and film makers to create what promise to be three enticing short pieces, described by Eelyn as slow-moving narrative portraits.

Here are a couple of visual clues to the Ealing locations we filmed in last week. Can you guess where they are?

Views of Ealing

image

This picture shows the train line near to my house which I used to get to school and into Ealing Broadway.

imageimageimage

I live in North Acton, which is in east Ealing. I chose to photograph the view from my window because I’m interested in the way it changes at different times of the day and how different lighting gives different impressions of my local area.

image

Imogen, Year 10 Student, Brentside High School, Ealing

What Kind of Animal are you?

image

image

Artist R.B. Kitaj taught at the Ealing Art School between 1961-1967. Whilst exploring the man and his work with the students at Brentside, I posed the question, ‘if he was an animal, what kind of animal would he be?’. One group determined that as he seemed like a private man he would have an antelope stare when disturbed!  Abdi is personifying the antelope stare perfectly in the portrait above which was directed by Shanae and Kursheed. Below is a self portrait by Kitaj that can be found in the National Portrait Gallery Collection.

image

Image above: Self Portrait by R.B. Kitaj © National Portrait Gallery, London

Eelyn Lee, Artist

Collage Workshops at Brentside

image

We have recently been exploring the medium of collage in the workshops at Brentside High School. Inspired by the portrait of Sid James by Ruskin Spear which uses a mix of paint, newsprint and packaging to depict Sid on a black and white TV, positioned in a cubist living room, the students have created some really great work. We also looked at the work of Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters and Matisee. Above is a piece by Claudia.

Below, Shanae’s homage to Ruskin Spear places a Michael Balcon inspired portrait in a gilt frame surrounded by a flat cubist plain. Bottom, is a remixed image by Leagh.

image

image

Eelyn Lee, Artist

Did you know Dusty Springfield came from Ealing?

image
Image: Dusty Springfield by Vivienne, 1962-1963 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Representing Michael Balcon

image

image

Film producer, Michael Balcon [1896 - 1977] turned the Ealing Studios into the most famous British film studio in the world. His ‘Ealing Comedies’ include Kind Hearts and Coronets [1949] in which Alec Guinness plays eight different roles and the crazy caper, The Lavender Hill Mob [1951].

After looking at his photographic portrait, students at Brentside High School devised their own interpretation of the great film producer, casting his ‘crocodile eyes’ over London Town.

Eelyn Lee, Artist

Image top: Michael Balcon by Howard Coster, 1936 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Acrobat and tightrope walker, Charles Blondin [1824-1897] spent the end of his life in Ealing. The Frenchman was famous for crossing the Niagara Falls on a tightrope. He chose to retire to the Leafy Borough where two streets are named after him: Blondin Avenue and Niagara Avenue. Find out a bit more about him in this great little Animation by Cumi.

Reinterpreting Angus McBean

image

image

The workshops at Brentside High School are going really well. The year 10 students have quickly grasped the idea of reading a portrait and re-interpreting the sitter for themselves. Surrealist photographer, Angus McBean [top] is a real inspiration. Many of his portraits are bold and playful with him experimenting with photo-montage; scale and the use of himself in a variety of roles. Seventy years later the images still have a contemporary edge.

Angus McBean (1904-1990) grew up in Ealing in the early twentieth century. After looking at some of McBean’s photographs, one hundred years later students of Brentside decide he probably had two sides to his character: an eccentric, outgoing side and a more contemplative, thoughtful side. Here, Abel and Desmond represent those two sides of Angus McBean.

Eelyn Lee, Artist

Top Image: Angus McBean as Neptune by Angus McBean, 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London
Bottom Image: Reinterpreting Angus McBean by Students at Brentside High School, 2014 © National Portrait Gallery, London