Black Dog dreams at art gallery


The multimedia, integrated arts composition “Black Dog – the Dreams of Paul Nash” created and composed by local artist and musician, Dave McKean, (who lives in Ebony) was performed at Rye Art Gallery on Sunday September 18 as part of their Festival offer. The audience was emotionally immersed – taken through the re-created dreams and experiences of artist Paul Nash before, during and after his trench horrors of the Great War.

Dave McKean, artist, author, composer
Dave McKean, artist, author, composer

McKean writes and illustrates sharp and imaginative graphic books, paints, draws, makes films, composes music, plays keyboards, performs, directs, sings, writes poetry and stories, what else? He was performing with the singer and cellist, Matthew Sharp and violinist Clare Haythornthwaite. Between them, they played, sang or voiced the feelings and dialogue of Nash, his comrades, wife Margaret, brother John, doctors, accompanied by a kaleidoscope of McKean’s visual images, with the recurring entry of the prowling black dog – symbol of depression, nightmares, misery, blockage to life and creativity.

The nationally important landscape and semi-surrealist artist Paul Nash (1889-1946) later lived in Rye. Dave McKean’s work was co-commissioned by “14-18 Now”, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary and the “Lakes International Comic Arts Festival”. The Gallery has the illustrated book available. How lucky for Rye to precede the performance at Tate Britain on November 13 – tickets booking now.

Main photo courtesy of Rye Art Gallery. Inset photo, Kenneth Bird

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