Follow Us on Twitter

An English Interior - Foundling Museum

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION of works by John Kindness, An English Interior, will be on display at the Foundling Museum from Wednesday, October 8 to Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

Belfast artist John Kindness is preparing for his first solo show in England and is using tea to stain the large sheets of paper he is preparing for An English Interior, an installation resembling an 18th century wallpapered room.

However, this is no period reconstruction. The unmistakeable figure of Desperate Dan can be clearly discerned among the wreckage of a school he has just succeeded in blowing up; and in a scene taken from a Hogarth engraving a woman is revived with smelling salts as she gives birth to a litter of rabbits.

Dudley Watkins who created Desperate Dan and William Hogarth who gives us our definitive image of 18th century London, are among Kindness’s artistic mentors as “…they both have a genius for turning total chaos into brilliant pictorial order.”

There will also be original works by Dudley Watkins on display. Rarely available to the public, they will be loaned by DC Thomson, the Scottish publishers who produced the Dandy comic books in which Desperate Dan appeared. Both the Dandy and Desperate Dan are celebrating their 70th year.

Morris Heggie, the Editor of the Dandy from 1986 to 2006 summed up the comic strip character saying, “Desperate Dan was beyond strong, he was a force of nature, yet he had a great innocence. One morning he would defeat the massed Apaches with a frying pan, the next he would have trouble shaving”.

Kindness has recently been commissioned to design the mosaics for St. Patrick’s chapel at Westminster Cathedral, and is currently working with RIBA award winning architects Twenty Two Over Seven on a monument to the late George Best in central Belfast.

An English Interior is curated by Gill Hedley.

Museum admission: Adults £5, concessions £4, children under 16 and Art Fund members free.

Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ.

For more information call 020 7841 3600 or visit the website.