Monet in Mind – John Loker

Posted: 17th May 2021

Humber Museums Partnership - Monet in Mind – John Loker

Vertical Extracts 2 1979
Oil and acrylic on canvas
John Loker developed abstraction over four decades. In the 1980s he focused particularly on motifs of the ephemeral nature of experience.
In Vertical Extracts 2, the repetition of soft marks and pastel colours adjoin together in a vertical direction.
The marks become more subtle the higher you look, as an escape to a simpler and milder atmosphere.
Similarly, Monet also captured phenomena suggested beyond the frame of the painting.

In the Monet in Mind exhibition, you are invited to immerse yourself in the paintings and relax. To help this we partnered with Hull College to create new soundscapes inspired by some of the paintings. This is the chance to listen and unwind.

James Bagshaw is a composer and sound artist with a specialism in spatial audio production. He is a Lecturer in Music at Hull College and PhD researcher at the University of Hull. The piece was created in response to the four distinct layers within Vertical Extracts, with changing levels of detail and depth reflected in the structure of the musical work. The piece was composed specifically for binaural (headphone) listening to immerse the listener in an evolving electronic environment.

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.

“Blue Plane In A Clear Sky Based on ‘Vertical Extracts’, 1979”

Is it possible to spot a blue plane,
flying alone across a clear sky?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful up there,
invisible to all who looked above.
Like a black hole sucking in dead space,
or a white comet sailing past the moon.
A pleasant change of pace from nakedness,
the vulnerability of flight.
To be invisible from the gaze,
of telescopes and reach of radar.
To soar in peace with god and heaven,
far away from the troubles on ground.
That is until the grey clouds appear,
suddenly a blue plane can be spotted.
What was once safe above hostile airspace,
now must land or risk being a target.
It was a nice idea while it lasted,
always good to dream when on war-torn ground.
Maybe one day we will fly out of here,
make our vertical escape to freedom.
Others managed it in their painted planes,
just need to figure out the right colour.

By Andrew Gooch

“Vertical Extracts 2:Feeling Coy”

A trace of orange, a flash of scales,
A bobbing ‘O’ of a mouth, before
It ghosts below silver ripples,
Too shy for the surface.

By Sarah Magaharan