Who Is Henry Moore?

Don’t be embarrassed if you do not know the answer. Reading that question, you probably heard some bells ringing in the background. That is but understandable as Henry Moore is arguably the most celebrated sculptor in the United Kingdom.

Born in 30 July 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, Henry Moore is perhaps best known all over the world for his sculptures which were larger than life. Many of these monumental sculptures have been purchased – and subsequently displayed – by private institutions.

The reclining form is considered to be Henry Moore’s signature form. Wikipedia elaborates:

Moore’s exploration of this form, under the influence of the Toltec-Mayan figure he had seen at the Louvre, was to lead him to increasing abstraction as he turned his thoughts towards experimentation with the elements of design. Moore’s earlier reclining figures deal principally with mass, while his later ones contrast the solid elements of the sculpture with the space, not only round them but generally through them as he pierced the forms with openings.

Though Moore died in 1986, his legacy continues with the Henry Moore Foundation, of which his daughter Mary Moore remains a part. In fact, The Guardian recently published an interview with her – a very rare occurrence.

Those who are interested in the work of Henry Moore will soon be treated to an exhibition at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in Central London. The Guardian narrates:

The show will span six decades and incorporate 70 works from the private family collection that have never before been shown publicly. Several items – such as the concrete bird table he made in 1942 that was used by the family for several years – carry a deep personal resonance.

There is a hope that the exhibition will lead to a reassessment of Moore’s work because, as Mary puts it, the ‘acclaim and affection’ in which he is held often obscures the ‘radical’ nature of his art.

When people talk about British sports, the first thing that would probably come to mind would be football, or footsie as enthusiasts like to call it. However, there are other sports that originated in England and one of them is cricket. This sport has been around for centuries and can actually be traced back to the Tudor times in the 16th century.

Who played the first game of cricket? It really is not clear but some historians think that the game of cricket was invented by the children of workers in the farming and metalworking industries. Another theory is that cricket could have been played by Prince Edward in the 1300s. The former is actually the more accepted explanation.

Today, cricket is played by countless people in various countries. It has gone a long way from its humble origins centuries ago. Although cricket may not have reached the heights that football is currently enjoying, it really does have its own huge following.

How do you play cricket? It is played on a green field – much like many other sports. In the middle of the field, there is a flat strip of bare ground 20 meters long. It is called the cricket pitch. At each end of the cricket pitch, a wooden device is placed. This is called the wicket and it is used as the target. The cricket ball, weighing in at 160 grams and made of hard leather, is bowled by a player towards a wicket. The opposing team has a batsman who guards the wicket to avoid the ball hitting the target.

These are the basics of the game which has captured the hearts of many people around the world. You should try watching a game just to see what it’s like.

Yes, there is such a thing as English Art, although not too many people may be aware of it. Wikipedia actually defines English Art as “body of visual arts originating from the nation of England, in the form of a continuous tradition.” This kind of art was actually only defined in 1956 by Nikolaus Pevsner, in his book The Englishness of English Art. Many decades later, great men were still trying to give a clear definition to English Art. In 2000, Sir Roy Strong wrote The Spirit of Britain: A narrative history of the arts and in 2002, Peter Ackroyd wrote The Origins of the English Imagination.

So what is English Art, really? The general consensus is that traditional English Art involves paintings of landscapes. English Art is not limited to this, however. Wikipedia further expounds on the themes of English Art:

Its earliest known developed form, one that continues to the present-day, is arguably the decorative surface pattern work exemplified by the Lindisfarne Gospels and the exterior carving of Anglo-Saxon churches and monuments. Ackroyd argues that the concern for a light and delicate outline, for surface pattern for its own sake, and for patterns and borders that threaten to overwhelm the portrayal of figures, have all been long-standing characteristics of a continuous English art. Other elements Ackroyd sees as inherited from the early Celtic church are a concern to portray the essence of animals, a tendency to understatement, and a concern for repeating structures that extends from Celtic knotwork to church organ music to Staffordshire ceramic-ware to stained glass windows and to the wallpapers of William Morris.

Indeed, a visit to England will prove to be a feast for the eyes and soul as one gazes upon various art forms, some of which have been around for millennia.

The English language is the universal language, there is no denying that. Well, at least if you are a pragmatic person. There will always be people who would assert that English is not THAT widely spoken. For the sake of this discussion, though, I would like to consider the English language as being used so widely that it would be ok to consider it as a universal language.

We all know the existence of a dichotomy when it comes to the American version of the language and the British version of the language. Let us dub them US English and British English. The discussion about this dichotomy has long been in existence and people far more experienced in this field than I have had their say. I just thought that it would be interesting to share something that I read from the Times Online. In it, the author strongly presents his views on how US English is quickly permeating the world of British English – and he is NOT liking this one bit.

The assertion is that the British should make a decision to disallow the influx of these Americanisms. He writes:

I would like Britain to decide to stop allowing US English to permeate, pervade and pollute British English. (I am acutely aware that the term “British English” has more than a little of the oxymoron about it.)

I believe in the frank and fair exchange of ideas, philosophy and words. When the US takes of some our new language on board I’d be a great deal more relaxed about the transplanting of US English into our way of life. The newly elected leader of America, and consequently the Free World, has oft spoken about change. If he is willing to say “Yes We Can” to change, then perhaps he will say “Yes We Can” to US English changing to adopt the odd British English word. Even he might concede that that would be a jolly good show.

I suppose his idea suggestion is fair enough, don’t you think?