From Saturday 18 November 2017 . Exhibition runs until 30 Nov 2017
Sculptor JOHN W. MILLS PPRBS ARCA FRSA revisits William Blake with a selection of new drawings and paintings, and reworked studies made in 1964 for a public memorial to William Blake at Blake House in Soho. This exhibition includes 20 or so paintings and drawings, with two maquettes for the original Blake House sculpture and a sculpture of Blake’s head that was based on a life mask made by sculptor and phrenologist James Deville when Blake was aged 56
These images were taken in July 2017 of John Mills in his studio at Hinxworth as he prepares for the Blake exhibition at Pyramid Gallery in November 2017
The plaster sculpture of Blakes head was made by John W. Mills in 1964 and was based on the ‘life-mask’ made by James Deville in 1823. These words are from the National Portrait Gallery website …..
Deville was a sculptor and phrenologist employed as a young assistant by Joseph Nollekens from whom no doubt he learned the technique of taking life-masks with the help of straws to prevent suffocation. The mask was taken when Blake was aged fifty-six so that the phrenologist could have a cast of Blake’s head ‘as representative of the imaginative faculty’. It failed however to please his family and friends; George Richmond said that the unnatural severity of the mouth was caused by the discomforture of the process ‘as the plaster pulled out a quantity of his hair’. National Portrait Gallery
JOHN W. MILLS in his own words ….
This small collection of images are either new drawings based on studies I made at the Digswell, Art Trust Hertfordshire, during the build up to making the ‘Memorial to William Blake’ for Blake house in Soho , his birth place
The invitation to make this exhibition (at Pyramid Gallery) gave me the encouragement to re-visit some of those drawings I made back then in an attempt to get back into thinking of ‘Blake’ and his impact on me at that time which was profound. The image of Blake’s head once studied is never forgotten!
I like the idea of trying to detect, explore and reflect the mood swings of a very complicated man and important artist, based on scant but powerful information displayed in the famous life mask. John W. Mills September 2017
ABOUT WILLIAM BLAKE
Read about the William Blake Society by Clicking HERE
or click the image below for Blake on Wikipedia