art galleries rosemary taylor Cricket Paintings pool Tennis Wrestling still life figure studies
     
  facebook  
 

summer exhibition

Art Galleries / Cricket (The Ashes 1975)

Rosemary was watching the Ashes on tv when the idea suddenly came to her to analyse the action of the fast bowlers who were creating such an outcry from the public. She worked her way into this concept step by step.

In the past artists typically portrayed cricketers on the village green, in a traditional calm English pastoral setting. Rosemary bravely turned this convention on its head, producing large canvases (4’ by 3’), focusing on the players and highlighting their speed of movement.

It was the Summer of 1975 and the public saw for the first time speeds of fast bowling by the Australians never seen before.  The menace and danger of these fast bowlers were palpable.

cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor
Excess.
Greig & Marsh,
125 x 95 cm (sold) sold
Australian Honey.
Walker,Greig & Dickie Bird,
125 x 95cm (sold) sold
"Snow" I
114 x 94 cm
"Snow" II
113 x 94 cm
 
roemary taylor cricket paintings cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor
Walters Fiedling
105 x 125 cm
Lillee and Fielder
94 x 115 cm
Thomson Bowling
94 x 115 cm
Spenser, Thomson & Wood
4' x 5' (sold) sold
 
cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor
Lillee & Dickie Bird
105 x 125 cm
Walters Bowling
105 x 125 cm
Thomson & Batsman
( Wood) 104 x 125 cm
Thomson & Dickie Bird
105 x 125 cm
 
cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor cricket paintings by Rosemary taylor
Lillee I
102 x 95 cm

Lillee II
93 x 112 cm

Lillee III
94 x 115 cm
Lillee IV
105 x 125 cm

One must remember that up until this date, no protective clothing was required or worn, and Rosemary was fascinated by the muscular power, speed and risk of this new generation of cricket.

She began by studying static images, then moved on to slower motions and then on to faster and faster images – the moment when the bowler released the ball at a speed of 80 mph. Her style gradually evolved, in a slow progression towards movement through the series. 

The first two cricket paintings in the series - though large in scale - were still fairly static. Excess is a still portrait featuring English captain batsman Tony Greig with Australian wicket keeper Rod Marsh. The second, Australian Honey, shows Walters and Greig moving slowly right past Dickie Bird.

Australian cricketers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson were the outstanding fast bowlers of their generation and Rosemary’s later paintings dramatically illustrate their speed, creating a blurring effect to convey the movement.

‘Two of the fastest and most exciting of modern bowlers, perfectly captured,’ said John Bright-Holmes of two of Rosemary’s paintings. The Joy of Cricket.

This distinctive technique is also beautifully demonstrated in the painting Lillee and Dickie Bird. Lillee’s figure almost distintegrates with speed and power, superimposed upon the solid umpire figure of Dickie Bird, whose legs alone are recognisable as legs, while his upper torso is dissolved by Lillee’s body hurtling past.

‘Somewhere beside the thunderbolt there’s the unique Dickie Bird, the calm behind the storm’ commented Thames TV news presenter Chris Kelly (1977). Seeing this painting reproduced in the Guardian Dickie Bird wrote asking Rosemary if she had a more recognisable portrait of him!

The Cricket Series was first shown in the Qantas Gallery in London’s Piccadilly in 1976, then at an exhibition of sports paintings organised by Charles Sprawson at leading art dealers Frost & Reid in Bristol in 1977.

The well-known former England cricketer and commentator Trevor Bailey visited the exhibition and reported in the Financial Times:
‘The most exciting works for me were the enormous canvases of Rosemary Taylor, who has brilliantly interpreted the movement of several outstanding competitors. Her painting suggestively breathes the pace of the Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson.’

The cricket paintings were subsequently displayed at the Portal Gallery, the Royal Commonwealth Institute and finally at Lords Cricket ground. Though Rosemary never saw her paintings at the last exhibition, as in those days women were not permitted entry to the Long Gallery.

These innovative paintings were widely reproduced at the time in all the major UK national newspapers including the Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times and the Sun

 
 
legal press contact contact press legal
home Rosemary taylor biography Paintings galleries exhibition summer 2012 scrapbook news archive glicees reproductions of Rosmary taylor paintings contact