I first saw Stanley Spencer’s Shipbuilding on the Clyde series in London’s Imperial War Museum.
My A-level art dissertation was on Spencer and I wrote to the IWM to ask if I could see the paintings. They weren’t on display at the time, but it agreed to get them out of storage for an afternoon. Sitting in the basement surrounded by the vast paintings was awe-inspiring.
By the evening I had decided I definitely wanted to have a creative career, and my dissertation had to do justice to what I had just seen.
Many hours were then spent in Reading’s Artworker shop, choosing different papers and cards, working out how to bind it and whether a size approaching A2 was appropriate.
A few months ago I found the book I’d made. I’d spent a very late night painting the title directly on to its canvas covering in a large sans serif resembling Gill. I remember being as proud of the lettering as I was of the studies inside. Creating a book worthy of the content was really satisfying, and is something I remind myself of on a regular basis.
Stanley Spencer’s Shipbuilding on the Clyde series has recently undergone a major restoration project led by the Imperial War Museum. Venue: No 1 Smithery, The Historic Dockyard Chatham Details: from 24 July to 12 December http://www.chdt.org.uk/