Blake, Peter (4 of 28).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2003-04-22, 2003-06-12, 2003-07-03, 2003-09-04, 2003-11-24, 2003-12-15, 2004-03-22, 2004-07-08, 2004-08-06, 2004-11-11, 2005-02-07

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Blake, Peter, 1932- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Sandino, Linda, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: Story about headmaster encouraging PB to take exams for technical school. Financial implications of attending art school. Comments on the social and historical importance of grants enabling new generation and class to attend art schools. Description of first day at art school and life class with model Quentin Crisp. Anecdote about daily journey to art school past WREN camp, having to miss pre-school café get-together. Description of homosexuals in Dartford and realising what it was. Memories of Dartford: mentions dwarf Manny Bates and his gang, the café or milk bar, tea time. Mentions Mother worked at Cable and Wireless. Evening routine on returning home form art school. Shirley and Terry attended the Grammar School. Mentions Q Crisp anecdote and its origin in Gravesend. Mentions Italian family of models who arrived with costumes for life classes. Mentions Johnny Noble and wrestler Johnny Earsley. Description of classes and staff at Gravesend School of Art [GSA] and the school’s geographical location, across from Tilbury; mentions principal William Ongley Miller and his wife, and William Bowyer. Curriculum and courses selected: details. Already wanted to be a painter but teachers said impossible to make a living. So did commercial art course. Events leading to application to the Royal College of Art [RCA] to study graphics but accepted to do study painting: details. Fellow students at GSA: girls. Significance of art school students’ clothes especially jeans: details. Story about making a pair of jeans from boiler suit. Story about buying corduroy jacket with Mum. First book bought as an art student. Knowledge of artists and having seen Arts Council touring exhibition in Dartford. Examples of British artists admired. Teachers admired. Art magazines read. Mentions Jane cartoon in the Daily Mirror, newspaper read by parents. Later seeing the musical when at the RCA.

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