Posted: 17th May 2021
b.1859 – d.1934
The Wood c.1931
Oil on canvas
Landscape painter William Kiddier is said to have completed each work that he made in the space of a single day.
His pictures tend to be painted freely, with thick impasto and broad brushwork. Their sombre colouring often lends them a melancholy mood.
Both his technique and composition owe something to the French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne.
Samuel Courtauld, the founder of The Courtauld, wrote poetry about the artworks in his collection. Following in his footsteps many years later, young people aged 16-25 from The Warren Youth Project in Hull, were inspired to compose their own creative writing and spoken word.
The Wood (1859-1934)
The forest is the town of trees
Where they live quite at their ease
With their neighbours of their side
Just as we in cities wide
Building a home for their forest friends
Where the rain never ends
Where the grass is green
Everything that looks unseen
The sound of wild life hits the floor in echo
Where no one has ever seen a real gecko
She lives and breathes the natural air
But her hair is quite fair
She buries her head
Right inside her bed
Drifting to the sound of nature
Where she may find the sky all blue
It felt so untrue
The human eye catches the glimpse
While the eclipse happens only once
Right inside the forest where all living comes out for the night to play.
Whereas the day never ends.
By Raeann Cawkwell
Standing Orders Based on ‘The Wood’, 1859-1934
Stand tall, long and tall
Stand, never to fall.
Stand high, way up high
Stand into the sky.
Stand straight, grow up straight
Stand on your full weight.
Stand still, stay there, still
Stand calm, always chill.
Stand old, wise and old
Stand, until you’re told.
Stand here, forever here
Stand, we won’t interfere.
By Andrew Gooch
A Lost Lay (Discovered c.1934)
Inspired by The Wood
Now the wood whispers without words.
“Girl, what you seek cannot be found:
Not from my branches, nor from birds,
Not from my roots deep underground.”
The wood points its spindly black arm,
Shaking in the wicked cold breeze,
“Leave here before you come to harm,
What you seek is beyond the trees.”
“You are wrong, wood,” The girl replies,
“What I seek is hidden right here.
Beyond these trees are raking eyes,
Which girls like me forever fear.
I wish to be lost in your wood,
Ancient and ageless and true.
I wish to live within your wood,
And grow as powerful as you.”
Silence shrouds the blue forest air,
Not one wood creature dares to stir;
When, the wood bends, a sight so rare,
And now bows before the young girl.
“Girl, you may leave your realm behind,
You may be reborn in me.
The eyes you run from will never find
You, and will forever fear the trees.”
By Sarah Magaharan