We had the mammoth task today of bringing together Brett Whiteley’s Alchemy and William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell & his engravings for The Book of Job– all in a two hour session! But we have all survived! And it has to be said it is a glorious field for exploring the power of creativity in challenging the disharmonies of the world. Brett Whiteley’s astonishing response to the 60s in America in his panels called the American Dream, together with his response to Australia in the global context in Alchemy, both illustrate his passionate attempt to bring insight and restoration to a world in disarray- including the world of his own mind, which can – in none of us- be separated from the world around. And Whiteley’s response to politics through his art is closely allied to Blake’s response to the revolutionary politics of his own time: with William Pitt’s police gangs bashing on doors trying to find out who was filled with seditious thoughts against the King. Blake ducked for cover in his anonymous printing of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, one of the most subversive books ever written, subversive of Church, of State and of all limiting ideologies: “man has closed himself up, till he sees/ all things thro’narrow chinks of his cavern.” “I shall… by printing in the infernal method, by corrosives…[melt] apparent surfaces away, and [display] the infinite which was hid.”
William Blake ducking for cover: Our End is Come, 1793
Blog Topics for Week Four
- Write a short free verse poem that begins with the lines: Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;/ Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
- Write a letter in the voice of William Blake explaining what it felt like to be living in London during the time of William Pitt’s Reign of Terror (Click this link)
- Chose a single plate from Blake’s Book of Job and briefly tell the story behind it, saying how this gives you more of an insight into Blake’s thinking.
- Create a mini-digital kit on the world of Brett Whiteley. Focus on those aspects that show his links to the key issues in our unit.
- Create a VLOG in which you readnad/or comment on on one of the works (literary/ artistic) introduced this week.
- Create your own topic on any aspect of this week’s material that has caught your interest.