Tag Archives: Easter


A different way to see Europe

Traveling on the Orient Express is most definitely a different way to see Europe.

The craftsmanship that went into creating the original carriages would be very difficult to replicate – inlaid wood, frosted glass reliefs and chromed fittings. These wonderfully engineered pieces of railway rolling stock date back to the 1920s and 1930s. The whole ensemble oozes history. Double Cabins are a single cabin room, the Cabin Suites are two inter-connecting cabins.

station_victoria orient_express_dining_car_lalique orient_express_sleeper_washbasin orient_express_dining_car orient_express_corridor_ carriage interior_sleeper_car_orient_express_fittings interior_sleeper_car_orient_express orient_express_diningcar_lalique breakfast_orient_express orient_express_bar interior_sleeper_car_orient_express_fittings orient_express_corridor

Sleeping Car 3539 has elegant circles of stylized flowers in an ivory-like inlay set in a chequer-board design by René Prou. The chrome detailed fittings add to the sumptuous feel of this carriage. The car was in service in the Pyrénées Côte d’Argent Express for one year and then transferred to the Train Bleu in 1930. The compartments have a small wash basin fitted hidden behind curved wooden doors. In 1930 the depression was biting into luxury travel and Wagon-Lits found they had surplus cars, consequently car 3539 was withdrawn and stored until 1936, when it joined the Rome Express.

It was stored during the war and used by the US Army Transportation Corps between 1945 and 1947.

Lalique Art Deco glasswork on the Orient Express

Dining Car 4141 named ‘Côte d’Azur’ was built in 1929 as a first class Pullman and was decorated by René Lalique who in the 1920s became famous for his Art Deco glasswork. He was also responsible for the glass and elegant coloured columns which filled the dining room and “grand salon” of the SS Normandie and the interior fittings, cross, screens, reredos and font of St. Matthew’s Church at Millbrook in Jersey – referred to as “Lalique’s Glass Church”.

Peter Bright (aka This Window)
station_victoriaThis image gallery contains 12 photos.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a private luxury train service that travels from London to Venice. Traveling on the Orient Express across Europe is a romantic, nostalgic and luxurious experience. The craftsmanship that went into creating the original carriages would be … Continue reading →



#Review – “European Art: 1949-1979/Marion R Taylor: Painting, 1966-2001″ – #Venice April 2012

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice  (29 February to 6 May 2012)  – an exhibition entitled “European Art: 1949-1979/Marion R Taylor: Painting, 1966-2001″.

One of the exhibition’s rooms is dedicated to Marion Richardson Taylor (d. 2010), an American artist (she lived in Europe). The wife of a diplomat, she was known for hosting political figures and intellectuals at her legendary dinner parties. Her artistic styles switched between abstract expressionism, portraits, and small sized drawings. Taylor constantly had to rethink her art – which gives the viewer of this retrospective the impression that Marion Taylor lacked direction or intellectual conviction in her art – maybe this exhibition underlines that well known fact that it is not what you know but who you know that counts.

Peter Bright (aka This Window)


There is so much art in Venice to see – I must admit I  neglected most of the  galleries except the Guggenheim (Palazzo Venier dei Leoni) where Peggy Guggenheim lived and which has a couple of great Pollocks, my favorite being Two, 1943–45 and a typical Bacon (Study for Chimpanzee) in the European Art exhibition. It was also great to see a slashed canvas of  the Italian artist Lucio Fontana (1899-1968). The simple act of slashing a canvas would now be a pointless excercise but during his time this was a dramatic statement about art and painting.

Just make sure you get invited to the right dinner parties…

The walk around the galleries and grounds of the gallery got me thinking about the role of women in art during the mid 20th century. There were other women who shaped this era (like Peggy Guggenheim) they were supporters and defenders of art and artists . One that came to mind was Lee Krasner the wife of the drunken womaniser Jackson Pollock.

“My own image of my work is that I no sooner settle into something than a break occurs. These breaks are always painful and depressing but despite them I see that there’s a consistency that holds out, but is hard to define.”

Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner would often cut up her drawings and paintings to create collages – revising, revisiting and discarding. She had exacting standards and constantly edited and reassessed her work, consequently her catalog of surviving artworks (published in 1995) lists only 599 known pieces. She was rigorously self-critical and this critical eye is believed to have been important to (her husband) Jackson Pollock’s work.

Within a creative partnership (containing two creative souls) there is always a hierarchal tipping point.

The individual who creates the most waves within the public domain automatically become the dominant figure. The perception of achievement and value automatically encircles the ‘socially successful’ individual. Within these partnerships the minor player is in many cases the glue that binds the success together. History always plays down this importance.

“With Jackson there was quiet solitude. Just to sit and look at the landscape. An inner quietness. After dinner, to sit on the back porch and look at the light. No need for talking. For any kind of communication.”

Krasner had a crisis of identity – being both a woman and the wife of Pollock, the public and artistic perception of her role as wife and artist lead her to sign her works with the genderless initials “L.K.” instead of her more recognizable (public) full name. The daily give-and-take of the partnership between Pollock and Krasner stimulated both artists. They both fought a battle for legitimacy and individual expression and opposed old-fashioned, conformism and its repressive culture…

…but which one drove the successful partnership?

Lee Krasner. (2012, April 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:38, April 10, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lee_Krasner&oldid=486005656

Other woman artists linked to the Abstract Expressionism  movement included:

Helen Frankenthaler, a major contributor to postwar American painting scene exhibiting her work for over six decades (early 1950s until 2011).

Joan Mitchell was a “second generation” abstract expressionist painter and an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement, even though much of her career took place in France.

Grace Hartigan  was the only woman artist in the Museum of Modern Art‘s legendary The New American Painting exhibition which toured Europe in the late 1950s.

  • Easter Sunday in Venice – #cipriani Wow what a hotel… …and what an amazing Easter Sunday – the view from the bedroom window has got to be one of the best ever! The church bells rang out from dawn and the smell of Spring followed the … Continue reading(peterbright.info)


The Sampler #05 with Finish the Story

Zig Zag SEPT 1981

The End..? I’m still shell-shocked. Finish The Story‘s debut gig was better than the second coming of Jesus Christ. Hastily flung together four weeks ago for this gig, they were raw, powerful and exciting. They’re a three-piece band from such diverse Islands of Aptitude as Bromsgrove, Bristol and Evesham.

Fronted by the blonde and the beautiful Nicola (the Evesham ingredient, hostess at the notorious Vauxhall Inn), they skipped through a short set of six embryonic classics. The drum machine went places no drum machine has been before, Gary etched lines in the air on his keyboards (I thought he was touching em .. Mick Mercer), Pete murdered his rabid guitar in true Bauhaus style, and above it all Nicola’s vocals soared clear and sane.

She bounced and bopped through the catchy “Chant of the Boxed-in Society”, caused a major emotional earthquake with “Apparently He Couldn’t Hear Me”, bounded through “Inspiration Didn’t Come Today” and “Alone With A Picture In A Matchstick Frame”, forgot the words to “The Dodgy Concept”, and . finally ended with “Playing At Life”.

They left. the audience happy, if a little confused, Through the last two songs a video of unsurpassed excellence played. They were wonderful. What more can I say?

Next band up were Evesham’s own Dancing. Did..(Cut!…. Ed).



Collecting Easter eggs and telephone answer machine messages, a video that has taken 20 years to compile.


BBC online . September 2005 – a fresh look back at the early days as guitarist with ‘Finish The Story’. Click Here

This Window – BBC Radio 30th September 2005 Finish The Story – Friday Session interview . (2 mins 42 secs. Realplayer.)