Norman Adams

The Whole (The Dream I)


Not on display

Norman Adams 1927–2005
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 864 × 914 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1967

Catalogue entry

Norman Adams 1927-2005

T00923 The Whole (The Dream I) 1964

Inscribed ‘NA. 64’ b.r. and ‘The Whole/The Dream (1.)/N Adams 1964’ on back.
Canvas, 34 x 36 (86.4 x 91.4).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1967.
Exh: Roland, Browse and Delbanco, February–March 1966 (48d); R.A., 1967 (967).

The artist wrote (13 April 1968): ‘It is one of a set of six paintings that were inspired by the opening chapters of St John’s Gospel. Ideally the set should not have been broken up as they were conceived as a “whole” – hence the title I hope that one day the six paintings will be hung together – they should hang in this order –

The Light
The Dream I
The Life
The Dream II
The Making
The Word

There is no rigid symbolism involved. The images in some of the paintings came directly out of studies made in the Outer-Hebrides, made during the summer of 1964. Studies of islands, rocks, sea and sky. Most of my paintings are the result of a Christian attitude, but I rarely use direct Christian symbolism (or any other kind of symbolism come to that) these days.’

Another of the series, ‘The Light’, is in the possession of the Carlisle City Art Gallery; the rest still belong to the artist. All were shown at Roland, Browse and Delbanco (see above), nos. 48, a-f. An appreciation of the artist’s work of this period is found in the introduction to the catalogue by Peter Bird.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1967–1968, London 1968.

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