Brown, Neave (19 of 19). National  Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2013-12-07, 2013-12-14, 2014-02-08, 2014-03-08, 2014-03-15, 2014-03-29, 2014-04-26, 2014-07-27, 2014-08-10, 2014-08-17, 2014-12-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Brown, Neave (1929-) (speaker,  male)

  • Interviewers

    Franklin, Geraint (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 19: Continuing interest in art; lack of time in evenings to practice art during architectural practice. Description of sketch of island in lake in South of France. ‘Obsessive sketcher and doodler’: differences between sketching from life and sketching as architectural design. Comments on City and Guilds foundation course. Enjoyment of writing. Lack of technique in present-day teaching of art and architecture. Further remarks on AA projects. [00:13:07] Mentions recent art works, including series of etchings and paintings; remarks on process of painting. Recent exhibitions of NB’s work. Interest in making art but difficulties in describing it in words. Remarks on critiques of contemporary artists. [00:25:38] Sums up career as ‘flying blind’; lack of security. Mentions joint work with TK and intention to form partnership; TK later changed his mind. Architectural opportunities have arisen out of the blue. Reflections on own character. [00:35:56] Remarks on first marriage to RD and second marriage to JB. Decision to leave Winscombe Street and move to a flat on Fleet Road; pride in his building. Comments on Camden’s management of its social housing. [00:48:36] Talks about his children, Aaron, Zoe and Vic [brief interruption at 00:51:58]. Mentions various family holidays in Yugoslavia and France. Story of getting of holiday home in the south of France c.2000. Tradition of New Year’s Eve parties there. [01:02:40] Extended description of recent flooding of French village and their holiday home, and coordinated response of villagers. [01:14:18] Reflections on doing life story, and on the listing of NB’s major work in England. Feeling of loss of contact with architecture and the world at large. Thoughts about growing older and death of friends.

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