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NLSC: Artists' Lives

Neiland, Brendan, 1941- (speaker, male; interviewee)
1996-12-30, 1997-02-06, 1997-02-07, 1997-03-07, 1997-03-13, 1997-03-14, 1997-03-25, 2006-05-03


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  • Title:
    NLSC: Artists' Lives
  • Contributor: Neiland, Brendan, 1941-; Courtney, Cathy, 1954-
  • Other Titles:
    Collection title: NLSC: Artists' Lives

  • Place Name: Interviewee's home, London
  • Description:
    Track 1:Tape 1 (F5704) Side A: Born 1941, Lichfield. Moved soon after birth to Norwich. As a child was taken to see paintings by Cotman and Constable. Has an elder brother, Barry, but only discovered this recently. Also a younger brother, Brian.

    Track 2: Tape 1 (F5704) Side B: Father's upbringing in Ireland. Grandfather's death. Maternal grandmother's suicide. Grandmother in Suffolk.

    Track 3: Tape 2 (F5705) Side A: Grandmother in Suffolk continued. Parents and brother. Male friendships in adult life. Chelsea Arts Club, Arts Club and Royal Academy. Norman Ackroyd.

    Track 4: Tape 2 (F5705) Side B: Parents and family life. First school. Early drawing. Picture of trawler. Likes privacy to work. Isolation of East Anglia in terms of lack of contact with art world. Brownie camera used as a child.

    Track 5: Tape 3 (F5706) Side A: Michael Rothenstein. Carel Weight. Sex education. Churchgoing. Morality.

    Track 6: Tape 3 (F5706) Side B: Grandmother's suicide. Attitude to depression. Junior and grammar school.

    Track 7: Tape 4 (F5707) Side A: Detailed discussion of current painting under way in studio. Method of working. Suppliers of materials.

    Track 8: Tape 4 (F5707) Side B: Details of painting in room in which recording is taking place. Practice of using coloured base rather than white. Further details work in progress in studio.

    Track 9: Tape 5 (F5708) Side A: Current studio painting continued. Inter City paintings. Feedback between film and painting.

    Track 10: Tape 5 (F5708) Side B: Schooling continued. Impact East Anglia. Move to Birmingham.

    Track 11: Tape 6 (F5709) Side A: Birmingham continued. Oratory School in Birmingham.

    Track 12: Tape 6 (F5709) Side B: Birmingham school continued. Decision to go to seminary in Ireland, wanted to be a missionary.

    Track 13: Tape 7 (F5710) Side A: Rejection of BN's application to be a missionary; life at the seminary; his paintings 'Riverside' and 'Freeflow'; his aims and methods in painting.

    Track 14: Tape 7 (F5710) Side B: Discussion of 'Riverside' and BN's method of composition; his 'Verandah'; the influence of Constable and East Anglia on his painting; BN's attitude to urban landscape and corporate capitalism; Chubb Harrison; painting of Pilkington Library, Loughborough University.

    Track 15: Tape 8 (F5711) Side A: BN's work in progress on Pilkington Library painting; visit to Abu Dhabi and New Orientalists exhibition; BN's paintings in Sharjah and Dubai.

    Track 16: Tape 8 (F5711) Side B: Paintings in Sharjah and Dubai and 'The Great Western, Paddington'; painting with spray gun; comparison of BN and Pointillists; New Orientalists exhibition, Abu Dhabi; the work of Stan Smith; death of BN's brother.

    Track 17: Tape 9 (F5712) Side A: Death of BN's brother; critical responses to BN's work; BN's artwork at seminary; visit to Rome and religious views as seminary student.

    Track 18: Tape 9 (F5712) Side B: BN's artwork at seminary; his paintings of Dubrovnik; discussion of his painting technique; connection between Dubrovnik and Dubai paintings; BN's travelling and painting.

    Track 19: Tape 10 (F5713) Side A: How BN imagines the places he paints; discussion of lighting conditions for his studio and exhibitions; description of his studio and equipment, and of his sales; organisation of group visit to Dubrovnik; BN's artwork at seminary.

    Track 20: Tape 10 (F5713) Side B: Performance element in BN's seminary artwork, and discussion of performance art; the work of Rachel Whiteread; BN's life and outlook as seminary student, and his feelings when he left.

    Track 21: Tape 11 (F5714) Side A: Birmingham School of Art, Foundation year.

    Track 22: Tape 11 (F5714) Side B: Birmingham Art School. Changes to Loughborough University painting. Brad Fane and Corriander Studio.

    Track 23: Tape 12 (F5715) Side A: Brad Fane's print studios. Print, Loch Shiel and painting of same name.

    Track 24: Tape 12 (F5715) Side B: Loch Shiel cont. Print, Glencoe. Fane and Corriander. Printmakers BN admires.

    Track 25: Tape 13 (F5716) Side A: Printmakers cont. Discussion of qualities of form. Young Contemporaries. Bryan Robertson. Art audience/education.

    Track 26: Tape 13 (F5716) Side B: Birmingham Art School. William Gear. Problems at Birmingham. Leger. Visit to Avignon to see Douglas Cooper.

    Track 27: Tape 14 (F5717) Side A: Douglas Cooper. Use of Leger in own development at Birmingham. Cezanne.

    Track 28: Tape 14 (F5717) Side B: Use of Leger cont. William Gear. Factory and building jobs where worked as a student. Student travel.

    Track 29: Tape 15 (F5718) Side A: Travel. Leger's palette. Loughborough. Birmingham factory colours.

    Track 30: Tape 15 (F5718) Side B: Retrospective feelings about Leger. Feelings now about Birmingham. Image of RCA when BN applying. Richard Hamilton. Interview at RCA. Ruskin Spear. Move to London.

    Track 31: Tape 16 (F5719) Side A: Time in Wales during Birmingham School of Art. [Interview 14th March 1997] RCA. Beginning to use spray gun. Life drawing.

    Track 32: Tape 16 (F5719) Side B: Life drawing at RCA. Spray gun. Beginning to use reflections.

    Track 33: Tape 17 (F5720) Side A: Progress of spray gun work at RCA. Beginning to use car bodies. 'Machine Highlights', 1967/8.

    Track 34: Tape 17 (F5720) Side B: 'Machine Highlights'. 'Spring', 1968. 'Spiral', 1968. 'Flow', 1968. 'Extended Screen', 1969. Atmosphere of RCA in this period. Abstract Conservatives.

    Track 35: Tape 18 (F5721) Side A: Abstract Conservatives. 'Big Paintings for Public Places'. Rowney's new paints. RCA degree show paintings. 'Green Fender'. End RCA. 'Blue Panel', 1971. Studios post RCA.

    Track 36: Tape 18 (F5721) Side B: Private life during RCA and post RCA time. Paintings post College years. 1970 series of smaller paintings. 'Blue Base', 'Divided Reflections', 'Green Panel'. 'Blue Highlight'. Exhibitions. Angela Flowers post RCA. Rowan Gallery. Marina Vaizey. 'Reflector', 1971.

    Track 37: Tape 19 (F5722) Side A: 'Reflector', 1971. 'Green Fender'. 'Reflector' cont. Transition from working on paper to canvas. BN's election to RA. Carel Weight.

    Track 38: Tape 19 (F5722) Side B: Work with Ken Kitchen and Bill Beach[ph]. Holiday work whilst at RCA. Relationship between music and paintings in 1960s/70s in London. Early success financially and in terms of attention. Edward Hopper. 'City Bonnet', 1972.

    Track 39: Tape 20 (F5723) Side A: Wendy Baron. 'City Bonnet' cont. Commission from National Bank of Dubai. Aukett paintings. Ben Johnson. Bridget Riley. Critics who fail to see that BN has developed. Philosophy to come to peace with oneself; equilibrium. Complexity/simplicity.

    Track 40: Tape 20 (F5723) Side B: 'Mayfair', 1974. General attitude to architecture. Print, 'Pimlico', that changed BN's approach. Importance of starting point. 'Verandah'. 'City Windows', 1974. 'Manchester', 1974. 'City Sweep', 1974. 'Broadway'. Paintings from water. Monet. 'Corner', 1975. Dali.

    Track 41: Tape 21 (F5724) Side A: Imagination versus ordering. Teaching in Manchester. 1977/8 visit to USA and effect on BN. 'Corner', 1975, a turning point. 'Pool Reflection', Basle.

    Track 42: Tape 21 (F5724) Side B: 'Pool Reflection', 1975. Monet water paintings. de Kooning. NT voyage of discovery. Softness/hardness. Man-made light in 'Sheraton'. Mood response to natural light. Drinking levels. USA trip. 'Building Projection', 1977. 'Seven Columns', 1978.

    Track 43: Tape 22 (F5725) Side A: 'Seven Columns'. 'City Reflection', 1977. Clapham. 'Lloyds', 1987.

    Track 44: Tape 22 (F5725) Side B: The 'Economist' building, 1983. 'Lloyds (tubes)', 1987. 'Lloyds', 1987. Futurists.

    Track 45: Tape 23 (F5726) Side A: Presences of Nature. 'Cumbrian Landscape' 1 and 2, 1981-2. 'Dartmoor Landscape Across Gidleigh Common', 1989. Turner. 'Cumulus', 1992. 'Freeflow', 1993.

    Track 46: Tape 23 (F5726) Side B: 'Turbulence', 1992. Teaching at Brighton. Chris le Brun. Professorship at Brighton. Painting of Amex House. 'Brighton Pavilion', 1993.

    Track 47: Tape 24 (F5727) Side A: 'Brighton Pavilion'. 'Cumulus', print given to RA on election. 'Gordons', 1986. 'Broadway', 1984. 'Brookland Heights', 1996. 'Waterloo International', 1993.

    Track 48: Tape 24 (F5727) Side B: 'Waterloo International' cont. 'Eros, Piccadilly', 1995, owned by Gatwick Express. 'London Taxis', 1995. 'Shoreditch Church and Waterloo', 1995. Wedding. Painting done at time of Naomi's birth.

    Track 49: Tape 25 (F5728) Side A: Shoreditch Church and Waterloo cont. 'Glenmorangie Still', 1994-5. 'Sheraton Hotel, Dubai', 1997-7? Redfern Gallery. 'Pontiac', 1986. 'St. Augustine's Abbey', 1996.

    Track 50: Tape 25 (F5728) Side B: St. Augustine's Abbey cont. 'Lily Pond', 1989. Royal Academy.

  • Notes:
    Recording: 1996-12-30, 1997-02-06, 1997-02-07, 1997-03-07, 1997-03-13, 1997-03-14, 1997-03-25, 2006-05-03;
    - Neiland, Brendan, 1941- (speaker, male; interviewee);
    - Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female; interviewee)
    Duration: 30 sixty-minute cassettes
    Item notes: Draft transcript for tapes 01-25. 20160808, check with curator.
    Access restrictions: Tapes 01-25 none. Tapes 26-30 CLOSED until 2026.07.26

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