Yesterday I went to the UPP (Oxford) to watch Ravilious Drawn to War and recommend it to other Ravilious fans This mystical but down to earth artist went uncelebrated for far too long.  When I first encountered his work in the art and antiques trade, I was immediately attracted by it. The images he drew left an indelible impression.  In Food of Love, I describe how passionate I was to review the first revival of his work at the Imperial War Museum in 2003/4. I rang the arts editor of The Oxford Times asking if I could review it. He said NO but then added that I could review the Armani at the RA.  He liked the resulting feature in Weekend and so agreed that I could review the Ravilious. That is the story behind my first art exhibition review– thank you Eric! I have reproduced it above. Editors pick the titles.  ‘A Colourful Legacy wouldn’t have been my choice. Colour is not hugely important in his work – its the atmosphere, the pathways to the future and the past, the deep connections to pre-national identity before the industrial revolution conquered nature and the LIGHT!


I watched with a wry smile while Norman Rosenthal introduced Georgio Armani. Rosenthal had said that there would be fashion at the RA ‘over his dead body’ but he looked pretty alive to me. Armani had given the RA a large donation, which I’m sure had nothing to do with the U-turn!

The only piece of Ravilious I own .When earning a living trading , I couldn’t afford to keep  the more expensive items I bought.

I used a  feature on WW2  to write about him in Oxfordshire Limited edition too. (below)