Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Modernist Ghosts of 1940

In the November of 1940 a book was published by Christina Hole called Haunted England and by a stroke of good luck John Farleigh was asked to do the illustrations.

(Hole did very well with artists, Mervyn Peake illustrated Witchcraft In England - more of which in a later post).

It’s an extraordinary book with one foot in England’s haunted mist shrouded history and the other in the shock of the Blitz gas covered second world war. Hole was a fastidious documenter of the dying elements of British folklore and superstition. While Farleigh was a very real modernist draftsman.

In his illustrations below (from Haunted England) you can see the expressionistic and surreal influence of Henry Moore, Paul Delvaux and to a lesser extent MirĂ³.

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