“That nipple looks as though it’s just flown in from outa space!”

If you wanted to enjoy yourself back in 1968, and were so inclined, you might possibly think about going to Art College, perhaps in London, and spending your summer holidays wandering around the great galleries of Europe including the Louvre, the Prado and the Vatican, as well as visiting Venice, the Parthenon, the caves of Altamira and Pompeii.

 

This account of such indulgence, a mosaic of short episodes, is the platform for presenting the History of Art, Literature and especially Film as it was encountered, using hyperlinks for reference and illustration. A series of five books presents the whole rose tinted reminiscence beginning with the first book in Bournemouth-by-the-Sea, all that time ago, when Modern Art was, indeed, still relatively modern.

The many references to Literature and History, throughout the books, reflect what the Fine Arts once enjoyed, the happy synthesis of Art, History and Literature. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Fine Arts were deprived of this by other Art forms, which included Illustration, Photography, and particularly Film. The consequence of these developments was an ideology of what little remained.
This was called Modern Art.

THE AUTHOR

 

The pseudonymous author, Giles Winterborne, went to Bournemouth College of Art in 1968, Wimbledon School of Art in 1969 and the Institute of Education in 1973. He worked as a schoolteacher in London, doing up property and then making antiques in Devon, whilst showing his paintings. Being retired gave him time to write about his distant life as an Art Student.

BOOK 1

This book describes Giles Winterborne doing the Pre-Diploma course at Bournemouth College of Art starting in 1968.

The tutors all taught as they had been taught; drawing dominated, especially life drawing. There was great hilarity when discussing the recent shooting of Andy Warhol.

 

There were lectures, tutorials and seminars, visits to London galleries, a thriving Film Society and a certain amount of drinking. Book One finishes with Giles Winterborne going up to London, after being accepted by Wimbledon School of Art, to arrange with a friend to rent a flat for the next year. That weekend he saw Gilbert and George at the Blind Faith concert in Hyde Park.

BOOK 2

Book Two describes the first year on the Diploma Course at Wimbledon and the new experience of living away from home. 

The first term included: visiting the Courtauld, the galleries in Bond Street, insulting David Hockney, a Private View at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Hayward and going to the many Art-House cinemas up in town. Giles also wandered around the museums and explored the historical parts of London, each with its own story.

 

As well as experimenting with painting and learning to stretch canvas Giles began taking photographs. A distinct smell of oil paint still hung in the air but the ethos was noticeably beginning to change. They attended a dynamic Buckminster Fuller lecture and as summer approached began to plan travelling to the great galleries in Italy, popping over to the Parthenon as a preliminary.

BOOK 2

Book Two describes the first year on the Diploma Course at Wimbledon and the new experience of living away from home. 

The first term included: visiting the Courtauld, the galleries in Bond Street, insulting David Hockney, a Private View at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Hayward and going to the many Art-House cinemas up in town. Giles also wandered around the museums and explored the historical parts of London, each with its own story.

 

As well as experimenting with painting and learning to stretch canvas Giles began taking photographs. A distinct smell of oil paint still hung in the air but the ethos was noticeably beginning to change. They attended a dynamic Buckminster Fuller lecture and as summer approached began to plan travelling to the great galleries in Italy, popping over to the Parthenon as a preliminary.

BOOK 3

In Book Three Giles and his two student friends found themselves in Athens as dawn was breaking. 

Greece, at this time, had a military government and soldiers patrolled everywhere. The Parthenon and then over to Italy where they managed to see the Scrovegni Chapel, the Venice Biennale, Pompeii, the Vatican and Florence. Then Giles split for hitching back, over the Alps to England.

For the second year at Wimbledon, he was sharing a chaotic house with four others where he first experienced drugs, ending up talking to a train. As well as painting, Giles played with some sculptural ideas.     Jack smith was a tutor. The year flew by and soon they were planning their next trip; Morocco and Spain this time and back through Paris.

BOOK 4

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, then down to watch Whirling Dervishes in Tangiers and then back up to Toledo and Madrid where they saw a bullfight and went to the Prado: Goya Titian and Velasquez. 

They stayed in a palace in Santander and visited the caves of Altamira before Paris: the Louvre, Napoléon’s grave, the Sacré-Coeur and l’Orangerie.

 

This was his last year at Wimbledon. Giles met Derek Jarman in the first term, acquired Prunella Clough as his tutor for the second, attended the Private View of the William Scott Retrospective at the Tate Gallery and, just as he was supposed to be gearing up for the last term, exam, thesis and show, he fell in love; it was a disaster academically but diverting nevertheless.

BOOK 4

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, then down to watch Whirling Dervishes in Tangiers and then back up to Toledo and Madrid where they saw a bullfight and went to the Prado: Goya Titian and Velasquez. 

They stayed in a palace in Santander and visited the caves of Altamira before Paris: the Louvre, Napoléon’s grave, the Sacré-Coeur and l’Orangerie.

 

This was his last year at Wimbledon. Giles met Derek Jarman in the first term, acquired Prunella Clough as his tutor for the second, attended the Private View of the William Scott Retrospective at the Tate Gallery and, just as he was supposed to be gearing up for the last term, exam, thesis and show, he fell in love; it was a disaster academically but diverting nevertheless.

BOOK 5

Giles decided to have a year off before applying for the Institute of Education and so he did various jobs, bought a car, and was drawn into a diverse, and somewhat irregular, crowd of South Londoners.

He was also offered a room in a flat in Stockwell. The flat was not that far from Brixton which Giles first visited tripping on LSD.

 

The beginning of the course at the Institute required observing in a primary school and then there was Teaching Practice in the second term. Giles attended seminars with Ernst Gombrich and continued doing working drawings whilst spending a lot of time in the Student Union Swimming Pool. He met some very interesting people who made him feel rather second rate yet felt sad about the end of his Art Student life.