Embracing Britannia : the concept of Britishness in the public sculpture and career of Dora Gordine (1895?-1991)

Black, Jonathan (2016) Embracing Britannia : the concept of Britishness in the public sculpture and career of Dora Gordine (1895?-1991). In: Public Monuments and Sculpture Association Annual Conference : 'Emigres Sculptors in Britain c. 1500-2016'; 26 - 27 May 2016, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

My 25 minute paper explored Dora Gordine's relationship with England/Britain/the British Empire between c. 1925 and 1964 (when her last piece of public sculpture was completed and unveiled). I argued that her sense of London/England/Britain had been shaped by her traumatic experiences of war and revolution c. 1915-22. She had been born the subject of Tsar Nicholas II but by the time she reached her early twenties the world she had once know had entirely been swept away. No she found herself living in and trying to establish herself as an artist in the tiny new state of Estonia. From there she moved to Paris and for a while attempted to put down roots there. However, she had her first solo exhibition, in 1928, in London. This was a great success and planted the seed of wishing to settle in the British capital. After a spell in the Far East, she was able to move in 1935 to Kingston Vale SW15 and her third husband paid for the building of her own miniature Art Deco stately home - Dorich House. The fact she looked and sounded so exotic/Russian/foreign was something she turned to her advantage. Indeed, the hints of being an outsider helped her become an insider in the highest echelons of the British cultural circles between the mid 1930's to the mid 60's.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: Public Monuments and Sculpture Association Annual Conference : 'Emigres Sculptors in Britain c. 1500-2016'
Organising Body: Public Monuments and Sculpture Association
Research Area: Architecture and the built environment
Art and design
History
History of art, architecture and design
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture > School of Art & Design History
Depositing User: Jonathan Black
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 16:25
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2016 16:25
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/36577

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