T01983 STILL LIFE, NEW STUDIO 1974
Inscribed on reverse ‘Still Life: new studio oil on canvas, (Rowney “X”) Mar–Sept 74 William Brooker’
Oil on canvas, 36×36 (91.5×91.5)
Purchased from Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd (Grant-in-Aid) 1975
Exh: William Brooker: recent paintings, Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd, July–August 1975 (2, repr.)
In a letter (15 September 1975) to the compiler William Brooker wrote:
'In July 1968 I moved from London to a smallholding that I had bought at South Chailey, four miles to the north of Lewes, Sussex. This had numerous outbuildings and I converted one of these, which had formerly been the farm's forge, to a studio by putting in a top light to the roof. Most of my work, from late 1968 until the autumn of 1972, was painted in this studio or in the studio that I have at Wimbledon School of Art, where I was appointed Principal in April 1969.
'In April 1973 I sold the smallholding in Sussex and bought a modern house at Carshalton, Surrey; a room on the top floor, with a side light, serves as my present studio, together with the studio at Wimbledon. The last paintings that I made at South Chailey were “Still Life, Green vase and Compotier, Aug/Sept 1972” and “Requiem July 1972/May 1973” which were worked on more or less simultaneously, “Requiem” being finally completed after the move from South Chailey.
'It took me some while to get used to working in the new Studio at Carshalton, which was quite small; I had been accustomed to working with a “frontal” light, which tended to flatten everything out in a way that I liked. Although I made drawings in the studio, it was some time before I could start painting in it, other than on some old paintings that I keep by me specifically for the purpose of “running-in” new studios, i.e. getting used to working in new surroundings.
‘The present painting owes its title to the fact that it was the first painting made from a subject in the new studio, and was commenced in March 1974.’
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978