STUART BRISLEY, Untitled Landscape (recto), 2 June 1953
STUART BRISLEY, Untitled Landscape (verso), 2 June 1953

Untitled landscape 2.6.1953


This drawing was made on 2.6.1953, on the day of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

We lived in the country and I went into the fields to avoid the radio broadcast of the coronation of a new British Monarch and made this drawing. It is a protest.

It signifies a core intuition and a growing awareness of striving to work on an every day level, the beginnings of a political awareness in cultural matters. Early concerns are apparent in this drawing such as commitment to secular republicanism, the base and the common, landscape as a collective historical process. 

As a schoolboy I worked in the farms during my holidays, and spent a great deal of time outdoors during the war years. My parents housed evacuee children in our small house. We were many and shared everything. Perceptions of comradeship, companionship, sameness and shared life later found routes in art.

The subject of monarchy became more overtly critical over the years as the ongoing practice of monarchic primo geniture offends the democratic basis claimed as a fundament of society.

More recently I have explicitly started to examine landscape as a political space with reference to the French Revolution and the republican view of secularising time by the use and idea of the constancy of natural elements.

Here the keywords are the commonweal, community, republic, body politic on the one hand, and retrospective time and appearance on the other. I am particularly referring to an English sensibility such as Tennyson's notion of "the eternal landscape of the past". 


My position is oppositional to the ancestral economy of the idyll.


Stuart Brisley 2015