STUART BRISLEY, Jerusalem, 2010–11

Andy Keate

Jerusalem, 2010–11

Watercolour on paper

80cm x 125cm

This project began after considering William Blake’s poem Jerusalem, which together with music by Hubert Parry has become the second if informal national anthem in England. It is sung at football matches where there appears to be an unfortunate lack of suitable songs other than the dull slow moving national anthem. Jerusalem stands as a hopeful expression of a bright future.

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England's mountains green:

And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:

Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:

Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land

To quote Iain Sinclair "Our stunned impotence is in the face of financial meltdown, political chicanery and the creeping surveillance society. One should add the cut glass Monarchy where the ruler plays as head of the Church of England, where whose male members` wardrobes are redolent with the fancy dresses of make believe members of the military elites."

Jerusalem is the overall title and the title of the first work. The four paintings are interpretations of that future which we are living in. The first is titled Jerusalem and is composed of trees and shrubs which have been left to to their own devices. Some have fallen others are in full maturity and others sprouting up out of the disorder.

Stuart Brisley
March 2011