The Flower Before The Bench
The Flower Before the Bench: Variations
each 30 x 24 cm
Notes on this work
The centre of the left hand section of Benches shows a row of people sitting on a bench with their backs to the spectator: behind them and the bench is a bank of flowers, red and yellow. This image comes from a postcard of Battersea Park (PT 8015. Photoprecision Ltd. of Huntingdonshire). The same postcard was used to make a miniature triptych for a catalogue issue by the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol; these pictures were themselves made into postcards by the gallery. Later the Tate itself made a poster-size reproduction of T 1327 Benches.
Thus a part at least of the original postcard had gone through four transformations, and it seemed a good idea to find out what these were. I took a square inch at random from the Arnolfini version and painted from it; similarly with the corresponding area of the original card (one eighth of a square inch or three sq. mm.) and so on. Thereafter I made it a policy to incorporate this section of the images and their derivatives when asked to provide designs for posters etc...
Thus as the series went on, I worked from more and more distant cousins of the original official urban bloom. No. 16 for example, was a painted reproduction of a reduced reproduction of a reproduction (in the form of a print) of a collage fragment which is a reproduction of a reproduction of a gouache after the original postcard (which of course itself is a reproduction of a photographic transparency reproducing nature).
The series eventually reached No. 20 (as can be seen on the back cover of the W/T'92 catalogue new and enticing opportunities continue to present themselves) and was first shown complete at the Downtown Gallery, New Orleans in 1974.
Works and Texts (1992), p. 49-51.