THE KINGDOM OF PAUL NASH: Cabinet of Living Cinema | 24 September 8pm

 Paul Nash

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Show time: 8.00pm

Running Time 2 hours approx

Ticket Price: £12 adults £10 under 18s (TF discount applies)

 This  is  the  Cabinet’s  second  ‘graphic  novel  ballad’  developed  in  2016.  The  ballad  tells  the  story  of  Nash  and  Eileen  Agar’s  affair in  Dorset  in  the  mid  30’s  through  their  relationship  with  the  Purbeck  world  which  enchanted  them;  objects  washed  up  on  the beach  they  endowed  with  personalities,  strange  rock  shapes  with  animistic  qualities,  fossils  like  ghosts  embedded  in  the  ancient strata,  a  landscape made  surreal  both  by  quarrying  and  the  remnants  of  ancient  geology.

Eileen  gave  Nash  a  box  of  painted  shells  in  1935. He  was  enraptured  with  the  gift  and  with  her. She  became  his  muse,  an  “exquisite  stone  that  could  fly”,  though their  flight  was  not  to  last  and  later  letters  revels  Nash’s  desperation  at  her  decision  to  end  the  affair.This  encounter  with  Eileen  in  Dorset  represents  one  of  the  most  significant  waymarks  in  Nash’s  journey  to  a  new  form  of  painting  that  would  use  the  oneiric  juxtaposition  of  continental  surrealism  to  bring  together  a  host  of  animistic  objects  from  the  English  landscape:  megalithic  stones,  serpent-­like  flowers,  totemic  found  objects,  the  sun,  the  moon,  the  tides.    He  was  a  painter-­poet  in  the  tradition  of  Blake  and  began  to  infuse  his  paintings  with  this  wealth  of  symbols,  creating  a  new  language  for  English  landscape  painting. These  developments  concluded  in  Nash’s  most  accomplished  cycle  of  work  in  the years  preceding  his  death  in  Boscombe,  Dorset,  1946,  where  he  declared  once  more  to  be  within  reach  of  “his  kingdom”.In  addition  to  exploring  Nash  and  Ager’s  relationship,  our  fable  also  explores Nash’s  rehabilitation  after  the  death  of  his  father  and  his  experiences  in  the  trenches  in  1917,  in  particular,  the  guilt  he  may  have  harboured  knowing  that  his  entire  company  had  been  wiped  out  shortly  after  he  was  invalided  in  May  1917. Nash’s  paintings  are  preoccupied  by  the  symbolism  of  death,  rebirth  and  flight  and  his  journey  in  the  30s  represents  a  kind  of  awakening  after  a  long  period  of  psychical  trauma:  “unless  I  somehow  drown,  I  shall  spread  my wings”.