David Redfern

Not less than 45 x 60

Artists' stretchers, string and cloth

Height : 160cm   Width : 114cm   Depth : 15cm  

A church is an appropriate place for a cross, a potent Christian symbol of the resurrection, of coming up into the light. 'Not less than 45 x 60' refers to the size of canvases which artists invited to show in the Festival of Britain exhibition '60 paintings for'51' were required to work on. Canvases were so scarce after the war that the government had to provide these materials. In this piece the 45 and 60 inch stretchers and the cloth are assembled so as to suggest an alternative interpretation.

Supporting Materials

Initial idea, leaning the materials for a 45 x 60 canvas against the studio wall

A studio drawing of the rearranged stretchers and sheet in the form of a cross and loin cloth. Essentially a deconstructed and then reconstructed painting canvas.

This is the impressive public sculpture of Christ on the Cross in front of St John's. Behind the monument is the entrance to the Crypt and my chosen site for 'Not less than 45 x 60'

The title of the work, 'Not less than 45 x 60', refers to instructions given to artists chosen to show in the Festival of Britain exhibition '60 paintings for'51'. St John's was the Festival church on the South Bank and the Festival site. The Festival of Britain was seen as a celebration of the country emerging from the horrors of the Second World War, coming up for air so as to speak, a parallel with the country emerging from today's pandemic lockdown. Artists were to submit paintings no less than 45 x 60 inches and in some cases the government provided stretchers and canvas as art materials were in short supply after the war. My work uses the materials of wooden canvas stretchers and cloth, but rearranged in a secular cross in the shadow of the Christian cross a few metres in front of it.