8 April 2022: April, Pigeons, Slanting Light, and the Work of Harriet Porter and Sarah Moorhouse

On the centenary of its publication….

April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.

As a riposte to T S Eliot’s oft-quoted words from The Wasteland on this time of the year, the iridescent colours of Sara Moorhouse’s hand-painted, matt-glazed, wheel-thrown vessels are enough to cheer the heart, soaking up the light as the sun moves higher in the sky, angling its way into the depths of the gallery.

Sara Moorhouse, M1. Extra Large Saturn (View 3), Stoneware, H13 x D31.5 cm.


The variegated hues of smaller works are just as inviting:

Sara Moorhouse, M6 (left, sold) and M7 (right) Medium Thick Rimmed Saturn Bowl, Stoneware, £575 each
Harriet Porter, Clarity, Oil on Canvas 60 x 60 cm. £1,950

Sometimes an artist specialises in finding her place homing in on the ordinary, and marvelling in the extraordinariness within. Harriet Porter’s paintings depict the delicate pools and slants of light that form as it falls on precious silver vessels in her studio.

On the celebration of simple things…..

Any time I happen to open my front door
a pigeon batters out of the bay-tree opposite and stumbles
into flight as implausibly as a jumbo.
At night, more
ominously, when the garden gate goes, it shambles
loudly off through the same shaken, protesting tree,
having slept, as it must, on its nerves. The bay-leaves
subside, and my own jumpy heart, before my key
goes home.
The pigeon’s world is no better than it believes
but I have sometimes known acts of kindness make me weep
for shame.
Most nights, most people are not afraid to sleep.

-Lachlan Mackinnon Pigeon

Harriet Porter, Stability, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 30cm. £950

And finally….

Another book which celebrates the centenary of its publication this year…..

…the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and
the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets
and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the
jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was
a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the
Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me
under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then
I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I
yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes
and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and
his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

-from Ulysses, James Joyce.

Thank you for reading.