“Legends : The Way We Were : 1955 Dick Francis unsaddles in the Queen mother’s colours Newbury”
approx 610x 280mm
The greatest novelist of recent decades depicted as a jockey in 1955 as he unsaddles in the colours of another hero close to the hearts of the nation: The Queen mother. The horse is Mas Ta Vu after winning at Newbury. The show is stolen in the picture however by the stunning brunette in mink smoking a cigarette in her kid gloved hand in the forground, and depiction of the elegant ladies in mink and phantom beaver and hats, and the trilby, covert coat and spat wearing gents.
A classic image of Britain as it was in the 1950’s
showing the spirit of freedom hope elegance of the age; a very British image; traditional, nostalgic in sepia tones with colours picked out in original work by the artist.
What started out as an idea for some of the legends of steeplechasing through the ages soon became the basis for a subversive series of images about fashion and social change. Based on primary sources, David adapted them to be images about style of the times…..and through that they are quite nostalgic.
Then it hits you what is so different from modern society in Blair’s Britain. It isn’t just the depiction of the beautiful and elegant fashions. Something stands out form all depictions of the modern world, that my make some people feel unnerved. Then it hits you. In all the images people are depicted smiling, smoking cigarettes and ladies are wearing real furs. For these were from ages where Britain was a free country; not just one of style and grace, but of glamour and liberty. Before the dark days of the nanny state which bans foxhunting and mink farming and smoking in public. These are the artist David Dent’s two fingered salute to petit bourgeois morality. And they are not really about the past….they are about the future that we need to reclaim : where we spurn the age of mediocrity and seek out true heroes, glamour, liberty and happiness once more.
Thre are three more in the set:
the 1964 with Arkle but there is also 1974 Red Rum and 1989 Desert Orchid.