Visiting Terry Frost’s work at The Tate Britain, looking back, seeing the work of old friends, and revisiting my old manor.
It was the last week of January 2018 we were making a brief visit to London, staying in the Walworth Road and East Street (East Lane as we called it) where I spent 12 happy years. It was also raining, sleeting, and cold over the few days we were in London.
One of the highlights of the trip was to the Tate Britains Prints and Drawings study room. http://www.tate.org.uk/research/prints-and-drawings-rooms/modern-and-contemporary-prints,
If you do not know about it check it out. It houses prints and drawings from many of the best British artists living and gone before. 1.
I wanted to look at the prints of an old tutor of mine from RCA days, a lovely man and good heart called (Sir)Terry Frost (1915–2003).
Terry was a prisoner of war at Stalag 383 in Bavaria, where he met Adrian Heath who encouraged him to paint. He moved to St Ives around the early 50’s as Barbara Hepworth’s assistant.
For me, there are other connections, such as Leeds (My old BA Polytechnic was Leeds Poly).
Terry was appointed on the recommendation of Herbert Read as the Gregory Fellow on Painting (1954-1956) at the University of Leeds. Teaching at Leeds School of Art. Here he meets another personal connection, an old colleague from my Kent Institute of Art and Design day’s Stass Paraskos.
Terry Loved to talk and told us many great stories such as ‘Through Blacks’ 1969 was made as a Family Christmas party game, with his kids painting as many different colours of black, he said it amused him that the Tate bought a Christmas game. Another was when he entered the army the Commanding Officer called him to his office and said, ‘Frost I hear you’re a painter’, excited that this might be some kind of War Artist gig, Terry enthusiastically said, ‘yes Sir’, the CO then said ‘good, see that bucket of white paint, take a brush and paint the stones around the paths in the compound, that will be all!!!’. Who knows if these are true but as students we lapped them up with relish.
My appointment was at 3.00 so I had a look around the exhibits but I first met up with an old friend who works at the Tate, Pierre.
The Study Room is Level 2 in the Clore Gallery 1, that has the Turners and an exhibition at present of artists influenced by William Blake. The ladies in the study room had laid out many of Terry’s works and I spent a luxurious hour and a half visiting the work of this old friend.
1. Tate Britain PRINTS AND DRAWINGS ROOMS
View drawings, prints and more from Tate’s collection not currently on display in the galleries
Monday to Friday 10.30–16.30
Closed for lunch between 13:00 and 14:00.
The Prints and Drawing Room is also open on the first Saturday of the month.
All visitors are welcome to access these artworks, but are asked to make an appointment in advance of their visit. Groups of up to 12 can be accommodated with advance notice. We advise you to check before you visit that the artworks you wish to see are available.
First time visitors are required to complete a registration form and to produce one of the following proofs of identity: a passport/national identity card, a driving license or a student card.
Wheelchairs are easily accommodated. If you have any specific access requirements, please contact us ahead of your visit.
Phone: +44 (0)20 7887 8042