André Durand fell in love with the West Sussex countryside four years ago and has brought the Downs at Didling - and many other areas - into his recent paintings which have made the Sussex landscape and pellucid light familiar through his Wholly Pictures Sussex from the Czech Republic to Japan. The one above, The Calling of St Andrew, features prominently in the background St Andrew's Church, the Shepherds’ Church at Didling, a canvas which he's recently completed. When St Andrew, who was a fisherman, is called by Christ, at first he is unsure as to whether Christ, Whom we cannot see, could be calling him. This accounts for the tentative gesture of the saint’s left hand in the picture. André has a particular attachment to St Andrew as his patron saint. The two fish are part of the meaning- two fine rainbow trout; the fish was a symbol adopted by the early Christians and Christ promised Andrew and his brother Peter that they would be fishers of men.
At an evening service to celebrate Saint Andrew's feast day on the 1st December 2008 André Durand's painting, The Calling of Saint Andrew, Didling will be on display. The picture will subsequently be displayed from the 3rd of December at: St Mary & St Gabriel, South Harting, The Street / Cow Lane/South Harting
Following a chance meeting with the Editor of Midhurst Pages, John Trueman, in Comestibles Deli in Midhurst one day, when he was on his way with a friend to picnic in Cowdray Park, a project which involves a film and a huge canvas of Cowdray Castle has come into being. Although arrangements for funding/sponsorship, exhibition and promotion are still being stitched together the final 'picture' is rapidly emerging - and it's very exciting.
A canvas of 6' 2" x 10' is planned featuring Cowdray Castle - Cowdray House to be precise - with the River Rother in the foreground and assorted Sussex beauties a la Titian's Diana and Callisto. If you're following major events in the art world you'll know that the Duke of Sutherland is selling two paintings by Titian, Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto, for a total of £100 million.
Titian painted Diana and Callisto between 1556 and 1559, shortly after Cowdray was built [in 1542]. You can now see why this is so intriguing to André. See engraving on the right.
Cowdray Castle which opened to the public last year (2007) following a major refurbishment of the Ruins to prevent their further collapse is once again an iconic image. In reality it has never ceased to be iconic although with the scrapping of the railway in1956 - The Beeching Cuts - tourists from London and elsewhere were less able to visit the environs of the Castle. In Victorian times the Castle had been a magnet to tourists fascinated with its tragic history and the Story of the Curse of Fire and Water.
With the launch of Andre's major canvas - now expected to be exhibited at the end of April 2009 - Cowdray will once again be on the lips of thousands and the travel itinerary of legions of others studying the Tudor Period - one of the most exuberant and exciting times in English history - and following the populist productions on TV and film of Elizabeth 1st, and Henry V111, both of whom visited Cowdray.
ANDRÉ DURAND LINKS
Didling & The Seven Sisters - Photos
Durand on Flicr.co - Cowdray
United Benefice - Harting, Elsted & Didling
Information on the above pictures
Durand The Calling of St Andrew 70 x 90 cm 2008
Cornelius Cort Diana and Callisto Engraving 1566 after Tiziano Vecellio (known as Titian)
438 x 368mm
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased 1957
These paintings and photos will be of special interest to the people of Didling, Treyford, South Harting, Elsted and, of course, Midhurst, Easebourne and Cowdray. If you've additions, queries, corrections or comments please email the Editor at john.trueman44NOSPAM@ virgin.net. Just remove NOSPAM and email with Outlook as usual