...I felt I wasn't getting the necessary steel of 1984, which appears almost pastoral in my approach. I was thinking about Winston and Julia's place of escape, but was finding the brutal parts of the story harder to visualize in any original way. The film version with Richard Burton seemed to get a lot of things right, and the Radio 4 version with Christopher Ecclestone has a good sense of dread.
The way the book is punctuated with the regime propaganda in newspeak serves to begin to grate on the reader, making you feel Winston's rebellion. I felt the same way when reading Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, the way Patrick Bateman's internal monologue of jealous hate in the endless lists of his tastes and brand names eventually leaves you sure as much of the authors politics as of the condition of Bateman's mind. I suppose the fact that B.E.E. was still a young man as he wrote American Psycho accounts for the humour and light touches that are drained from Orwell's book.
With Orwell dying as he wrote 1984 in solitude, what moves me is the transparently autobiographical heartbreak of a man who had been so let down by socialism's failures in Russia. Sadly my drawings could sustain none of that tension, so all there is are these sketches of the book that haunted me for years.
|Four Minutes hate|
Beckett's 'Molloy' was a lesson to me on old age, almost as much as spending six months as a care assistant. The confusion and then bursts of lucidity, as old Molloy rambles around had me grasping for a way to convey it in drawing.
It was clear this had to reflect in the marks made, so there was a freedom from defining shapes. I enjoyed this so much I made a painting in which I tried to get a sense of Molloy's sensory frustrations.
I felt liberated from my usual stylistic and technical concerns!