Oil on canvas 1934-5, painted when Nash had just moved to Swanage, Dorset. Here Nash met the young artist Eileen Agar. The pair explored the locale together, finding inspiration for their work. Both artists, she as much as he, were engaged in an exploration of surrealist imagery and themes, and discovering Swanage together they found evidence of their preoccupations: an ‘immense globe of white stone’, for instance, and ‘two vast Corinthian pillars’ in the grounds of the hotel. But both also photographed their surroundings, finding strange objects and juxtapositions amidst the man made environment (one of Nash’s photographs depicts a discarded tennis ball), but poignant natural objects too, like old stumps and standing stones (see Photographs, Nash). In this very strong picture we see some of this imagery: a tennis ball; an old stump; white chalk cliffs and natural tracks. These are, perhaps, symbolic characterizations of place. Event on the Downs is actually a depiction of Ballard Down just outside of Swanage, but Swanage was a tourist location with leisure activities such as tennis. The picture is an amalgam, therefore, of responses to the new area Nash was encountering, responses to the man made as much as to the natural environment.
Size: image 51.0 x 61.0; paper 61.0 x 72.5cm
Format: Format: Giclée Print, limited edition (1/850) on 310gsm thick, 100% cotton rag. Hand-numbered and hand-embossed.
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© Paul Nash Estate