A JAPANESE DREAM
BY TOM LOVELACE
‘On the Western Window Pane’ is a new year long fundraising project organised by the Van Gogh House, presenting 12 artist designed, limited edition posters in its front, West facing window. Tom Lovelace has designed our February poster.
Artists and writers were invited to create posters drawing out the many-layered narratives from the building’s remarkable history. Each artist has taken their own approach, from coming of age, to colour and unionism.
Tom Lovelace is a London based artist, working within spaces between photography, performance and sculpture. Lovelace’s practice presents exhibition encounters and fluid environments, positioning the body at the centre of abstract languages and legacies. Central themes to his research encompass the collaborative histories of art, theatre and the role of Minimalism within contemporary culture. As a Lecturer Lovelace works at the Royal College of Art, University for the Creative Arts and the Glasgow School of Art.
“A meadow full of very yellow buttercups, a ditch with iris plants with green leaves, purple flowers, the town in the background, some grey willow trees – a strip of blue sky … A little town surrounded by countryside entirely covered in yellow and purple flowers. That would really be a Japanese dream”
-Vincent to Theo van Gogh
Arles, 12th May 1888
In February 2022 Tom Lovelace choreographed a performance at the Van Gogh House. With a particular focus on Van Gogh’s studies of Irises, Lovelace respond to the artist’s paintings and the life of Irises through an ephemeral event of movement, collaborating bodies and colour. This poster takes directly from window dressings that created the backgrop to this performance.
A letter from Van Gogh’s early days in London contained a transcription of a poem by John Keats called ‘The Eve of St. Mark’. One of the verses contains the line ‘on the western window panes’ and continues to describe how the whole world seems to be reflected and contained in this piece of glass:
The verse captures Van Gogh House’s approach to this project, seeing the building as a portal to an endlessly rich body of themes and conversations.
Further education materials around the influence of Keats on Van Gogh can be found in our Learning area, under Learning Activities
As with many other small arts organisations, the Van Gogh House was severely affected by the pandemic. By selling posters, Van Gogh House hopes to support the artists involved and use the income to fund future projects.
A new poster will be installed on the first of each month until March 2022, with 12 posters in total. We encourage everyone to place their posters in their windows, and to share their thoughts and reflections with us.
What do you think about this poster? How would you have responded to Keats’ poem? Would you show the poster in your window?
Take part in the conversation by:
87 Hackford Road,
Brighid Lowe, Madeleine Pledge, Lesley Sharpe, Allison Katz, Jordan Baseman, Ye Funa, Katrina Palmer, Aisha Farr & Will Harris, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, Gray Wielebinski, Tom Lovelace and FeiFei Zhou.
With thanks to Benjamin Arthur Brown for curating the project, Klaudia Bebenek for her help in producing this project, Omnicolour for printing the posters, and to the artists involved.