Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More on the picture on my cover

A friend who is well informed on art matters tells me that the image on my forthcoming book is by William Morris, the great Victorian designer. It's called The strawberry Thief and is based on drawings he made of birds stealing strawberries in the grounds of his home at Kelmscott Manor.

My informant, AJ, adds:

So - what's the significance for your book? Well, as one of the founder members
of the social and aesthetic Arts and Crafts Movement, Morris' passion was to
champion good design and craftsmanship at a time of increasing mechanisation and
mass production. For some, the movement involved fundamental issues about human society and there was a huge emphasis on 'honesty', on producing products that showed clearly what they were made of and how they worked. The whole movement believed in advocating simplicity and integrity, often emphasising plain
materials and good design...an approach which was to have a lasting influence on
modern design.

The Arts and Crafts movement also traced its origins back to John Ruskin's ideas. He believed that the beauty of medieval art sprang from pride in individual craftsmanship. Developing Ruskin's thoughts, Morris wrote that art was 'man's expression of his joy in labour' and believed that good design could help create a better society.
I like that emphasis on honesty and the thought that good design can help create a better society. Maybe an honestly written book that takes the bible and those who struggle with the church seriously can help make better churches.

So, it's true that every picture tells a story.


Anonymous said...

That's really interesting. Can't wait to read the content now!

Michelle said...

Hi Simon, your book looks fantastic, I'm sure so many will be challenged by your wise words and encouraged to stay and work through problems found within church. Well done.