I have been doing some research into the life of Joash Woodrow whose story I am using as inspiration to develop a new piece of writing.
His story is an amazing and inspirational one. The tale of a promising young artist who withdrew himself from society. A man who became a recluse with little contact with anybody except his close family. A man who, when he left his lifetime home during his elder years to move into sheltered accommodation, left a treasure trove of nearly 5000 pieces of art including painting, drawings and sculptures. Many of the pieces that were discovered are now deemed to be world-class pieces of art and some of the most significant pieces created in the UK in the twentieth century.
I find Joash’s story fascinating because of the questions that it provokes about art and the part that it plays in our lives. The big questions it rouses for me are:
How much is art about the individual and how much is it about the collective experience?
What motivates people to create art when they no longer have the desire or ability to share it with anyone else?
What right do we have to display the work of others when they had no desire for it to be shared and displayed themselves?
Answers on a postcard please…