Saturday, 15 December 2018

JAGO STONE - MORE IMAGES AND THE BERTIE BARRETT STORY

At present, I am helping the Unicorn design team in preparing the images for my biography of Jago Stone that will be published on October1, 2019. As I looked through the full set, I thought it would make a great Jago post to show together all the images from one particular part of the collection that now graces the walls of our home - the six water-colours that we bought from Bertie Barrett who had been gifted them by his grandfather, Graham Newsom. Here for the first time are these Jago paintings as photographed by the talented Leo Walker of St Ives - press this link for further details of Leo and Larisa and their studio.




Untitled - Jago Stone (1971)




I can best retell the Bertie Barrett story by using the text I produced just over two years ago within two posts that I published then. Here is detail from a blog-post dated 13 November, 2016:  

It was last month, in late October, that I opened the email with the title 'The Rollright Stones'. I knew not what to expect. This time the communication came from a fifteen year old student who had discovered my 'wonderful' website and interest in Jago from a google search and wanted to know the current market value of a Jago 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

JAGO STONE - THE AMERICAN CONNECTION - PART TEN

As I have done before, this post is using material first seen in my monthly Mailchimp Newsletter about the Jago Stone research and biography. Here, the images and text come from the Newsletter for November, published on November 1 - and again, my apologies if you are familiar with the images and stories but for many readers, particularly those across the Pond, this will be a first-time read.

  If you know anyone you think might be interested in these mailings about 'Jago' do encourage them to follow the link to my website. Here it is: http://www.robdonovan-author.co.uk/JagoStone-Biography.html

You can also use this page to access my Jago Stone blogs.

Copies of 'The Road to Corbyn' can be purchased at a discount using this link: http://www.robdonovan-author.co.uk/TheRoadToCorbyn.html



In this edition, first the good news about publication. Last month, Ian Strathcarron of Unicorn Press and I signed a contract to publish 'The Remarkable Life of Jago Stone' (the new working title) in the autumn of 2019. A long road to get to this point but once Ian had read my submission email in mid-August and decided to follow his publisher's sense that this was worth following up, it's been a bit of a speedway. The final edit was in the second half of November and we are now at the design stage. The pre-press agreement is scheduled for June. The provisional date for publication is September 2019. Busy days ahead - this is a publishing and marketing partnership!


And as the publication trail got hotter, the American Connection links cooled - until early November. Here is the story of what then came my way from across the Pond through cyberspace in the shape of Facebook:

First, Carol Baker left these messages on my repost of 'Jago Stone - The American Connection - Part Seven' using the USAF veteran's webpage, RAF Upper Heyford Brats and Friends:


'From Washington look what I found on my mom's living room … We lived in England 74-78 in Sherington.'  Accompanying the text were these two images:



Banbury Cross, Oxfordshire - Jago Stone water-colour - 1978


How exciting to have two more images to add to the collection - and Jago paintings from 1978 have been thin on

Friday, 7 December 2018

LOUISE DONOVAN - TEXTILE ARTIST - HER 2018 EXHIBITION IN ST IVES - PART FOUR

The first three posts in this series have given a revealing insight into Louise's exhibition in the Crypt Gallery in St Ives. In this final post, I want to share some of the reactions of those who visited the gallery during that week in mid-November.

Louise and I both remember that moment when, shortly after we had opened on the first day, Jason Calder popped in to have a look and exclaimed:

'Wow! We've never seen anything quite like this here before!'

That 'Wow!' set the tone for the week - thank you, Jason. (Jason is the co-founder of the remarkable Boathouse Theatre in St Ives - press this link here for more detail.)


'Hora by Night' (2016) is viewed by our guest, Dr Julia Bush (Photography by Leo Walker)


We had a book for visitors to record their reactions before leaving and by the end of the week forty-seven comments had appeared. Many were from visitors to St Ives. Some were from those resident in

Sunday, 2 December 2018

JEREMY CORBYN MAKES PUBLIC HIS LETTER TO THERESA MAY

I came across a letter from Jeremy Corbyn, writing as the Leader of the Opposition, yesterday evening as I delved into Koser Saeed's Spotlight webpage - always an interesting trawl, and on this occasion what I found is important enough to warrant wider circulation. Hence this blog-post. 

Jeremy Corbyn - PM-in-Waiting


Jeremy Corbyn regards the matters he raises in the letter to be important enough for him to make the 

Sunday, 25 November 2018

LOUISE DONOVAN - TEXTILE ARTIST - HER 2018 EXHIBITION IN ST IVES - PART THREE

In my third post in this series of four celebrating Louise Donovan's textile art exhibition in the Crypt Gallery, St Ives (November 10-16), the focus is on two pieces that have been inspired by the Greek island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea.

Louise and I first discovered Patmos in the summer of 1988 when we spent two weeks staying in the Patmian Hotel (now the Patmian Cultural Centre) by the waterfront. We loved the peace of this holy island with its important Greek Orthodox monastery at Chora (Hora), overlooking all. Next year we returned for three weeks. Since then, whenever we could afford the time and money for a vacation overseas, we have come back to Patmos for rest and recovery - and reinvigoration. Our privilege has been to savour nineteen Patmosian summers in the thirty-one years between 1988 and 2018. We have seen the island's bus driver grow old and retire, his hands no longer on the wheel. Instead, the two little children who joined him for the rides in the late 80s and 90s are now the island's bus drivers. By the 90s, the Patmian Hotel had closed and our vacations were spent in the Skala Hotel, a few metres away, where we enjoyed the perfection of being welcomed and looked after and respected, year in and year out.


The view from Chora downhill towards Skala on the island of Patmos

As a couple, we have travelled less widely than many others - but the opportunity to know local people over such a time-span has been such a gift. Michael and Elvira Kessetzis became the jewellers we always went to for a holiday purchase and soon they became our friends. The battering that the Greeks have taken from their northern European Community members has left so many people ruined; Michael has moved his business to Kos to make ends meet. Elvira and Michael's permanent

Friday, 23 November 2018

JAGO STONE - THE AMERICAN CONNECTION - PART NINE


I have a number of audiences for my Jago Stone blog-posts and one of the most important are the American readers - in particular the men and women who knew Jago the artist when they were serving their USAF tour-time in the UK at RAF Upper Heyford in the 1970s and 1980s and their children. I have been granted access to two USAF webpages and I have been reposting my series of 'JAGO STONE - THE AMERICAN CONNECTION' posts on their sites over the last few months and they have been read by over a thousand Americans and liked by eighty to date. 




Here - in AMERICAN CONNECTION - PART 9 - I am using material from an October 2018 blog post  called:'JAGO' - ANOTHER UPDATE ON THE PATH TO PUBLICATION.


This in turn was recycling material from my October Mailchimp Newsletter that had been opened by 34 subscribers. Hopefully, this will be a fruitful way to widen the circle of those who have heard the continuing good news about the path to publication and gives me the chance to tell again the Scheid family story that came my way through cyberspace. Here's the post:

'There are now, as I promised, more Jago stories and images from the other side of the Pond. Here is one that came my way in late August this year. On 22 August, 2018, Gene Scheid made contact through Facebook and gifted me a couple of images of the painting that Jago had made of the family house in West Adderbury, Oxfordshire. In response to my request for more detail and stories, Gene replied: 'Sure! My mother, Roxann Cummings Scheid has a great story how he came about painting this for us and I am sure she would be happy to share.' Here is Roxann's tale (dated 29/08/2018): 
'Absolutely! I've been meaning to get on and tell you! I loved this man. When we moved there wasn't much television. It was shortly after they had added the "Breakfast Shows" and Jago was one of the featured guests on one of these shows. He told about his painting of Sulgrave Manor. He did it for the Flying Tigers to present to the President. My memory is cloudy about this next part but I believe it was for Gerald Ford.' [Yes - the year was 1976 and it was Jago's gift to mark the bicentennial of the founding of the USA. Sulgrave Manor was the ancestral home of George Washington and not far from Upper Heyford.]




'At the time I saw this broadcast it was still hanging in the White House. I was so taken by his story that I researched how to contact him. I asked him to paint our first home in England - #1 St Amends, West Adderbury. Now we were living on Whitley Drive on RAF Upper Heyford. We commissioned him for this piece, he did it - and 

brought it to our home. Money was never discussed. This would have been around 1982. [The painting is dated 

Thursday, 22 November 2018

LOUISE DONOVAN - TEXTILE ARTIST - HER 2018 EXHIBITION IN ST IVES - PART TWO

In my second post in this series of four celebrating Louise Donovan's exhibition in the Crypt Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall (November 10-16), my focus is on Louise's political textile art. In the first post - press this link here - 'The March for the Alternative' (2012) was highlighted. Now, in this blog-post, there are two more examples of political textile art from the exhibition that warrant closer attention.

First, here is the piece that Louise exhibited in the NEC Birmingham in 2015 at the annual Festival of Quilts: 'Gaza' (2015).


Gaza - Louise Donovan (2015)


The original inspiration for this work came from a newspaper cutting - a Sunday colour magazine page - that showed a devastated urban landscape in Gaza, the buildings flattened, with one piece of red, velvety fabric covering a pile of house debris in an otherwise grey picture of devastation. That image is lost. The picture below carries a similar message of hope and life amid the destruction - red