Original, oil on paper, signed, framed (see below)
Painting Size: 49 x 39 cm
Black with mount - framed size: 62 x 52 CM
Oak with mount - framed size: 62 x 52 CM
White with mount - framed size: 62 x 52 CM
Read more about our Framing Workshop here
Last February, we commissioned the artist Raphael Balme to work on a series of new paintings using the Peter Greenaway film The Draughtsman's Contract as a point of inspiration, the beginning of a conversation.
(Film still from The Draftsman's Contract, 1982)
The film, set in an apparently idyllic 17th century country house and gardens, sees an ambitious draughtsman commissioned by the wife of an aristocrat to produce twelve drawings of her husband's estate, in return for which the draftsman will recieve various payments. The surreal, dreamlike film set amongst statuses, clipped topiary and elaborate interior rooms is the perfect source material for Raphael Balme:
(Raphael Balme's studio in York)
"The atmosphere, intrigue, gardens, topiary, mystery, and the clothes and wigs fascinated me. The film was the starting point; a mood, an era, a clandestine feel."
(research images, artist's own)
(Raphael Balme's studio, filled with research materials)
"The paintings needed to work as a series but not be illustrations of a particular plot. Eventhough I had a vague idea of a narrative as I painted, each piece functions as an individual image, a story within each painting, the stage is set for the viewer to invent the narrative."
Raphael Balme works from both her town house in York and her home on the wild Yorkshire Moors.
"Old houses and gardens have always aroused my curiosity. The view from my work room at the top of my house in York is over ancient gardens and a ruined abbey. The trees cast huge shadows as they turn to Autumn and my mind often dreams of the people who must have walked these places before."
A strange country house party seems to be played out amongst these twelve new works. Bold statuesque topiary and ghostly images of empty gardens, secret liasons and riderless horses populate Raphael Balme's dreamlike oil paintings and invite us in.