0 Comments | by
flora lion: Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works in Bradford 1918 An exhibition of twentieth century women war artists has opened at the Imperial War Museum. This is Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works in Bradford 1918 © IWM by Flora Lion, a well-established painter who was commissioned to record factory scenes of the home front. A painting like this, which most of us will never have seen before, and has presumably been in store in the IWM vaults, arouses all kinds of tetchy feelings about the canon: it's just as 'good' a painting as anything we are meant to gaze at reverentially in public galleries, better some would say. And yet had we been allowed to see it – because had we heard of Flora Lion? Almost certainly we had not. And could this have anything to do with the fact that she was a woman? Questions of the canon have been much on our minds in the last few days because of going to see Cause Celebre, our third Terence Rattigan play in a year. And yet after 1956 and Look Back in Anger he was incredibly depressed because his work was virtually shunned. Parallels anyone? Think Dorothy Whipple. Shunned at exactly the same time. Slower to get back into the public consciousness because a) a woman who did not live a rackety life b) like Rattigan, was very keen on narrative/story/ keeping people on the edge of their seat, whatever you like to call it (Rattigan is the only playwright where even after a long day in the office one never, ever wants to shut one's eyes even for five minutes).

Add a Comment Flora Lion: Women's Canteen at Phoenix Works