Tuesday, April 09, 2013

That portrait of Margaret

Back in my 'student' days, art student that is, back when I was reasonably apolitical, I wanted to paint a large scale portrait of someone famous. It was an exercise in capturing a likeness really. I can't recall why or where but I came accross this amazing photo of Margaret Thatcher back in the 'big hair' days.  It was the composition that drew me in; that and the expression in her eyes. Now I wouldn't even know where to find the original image though a google search might locate it.

It seems to me it could do with a few more coats and is far more detailed than anything I'd produce today. It lacks weight. Perhaps, typically, I lost interest when it came to the clothing. But I wasn't displeased with it at the time.

Of course it unleashed a few derisive sneers and raised eyebrows amongst some of my folk. Not for the attempted grandness but because I grew up in a 1960s Labour household where Harold Wilson had been loved, like Mickey Savage. Benevolent Harry and his lovely labradors I remember.

My parents hated Thatcher. Or that's what I recall. Though I never knew or cared why. They just gave me the overwhelming impression that she was callous and hard. As children, even young adults, do, I believed them without giving it very much thought.

Later though realised what an amazingly determined and steely character she was. And of course I came to understand and believe in the same political and philosophical values she espoused - free markets and individualism. "There is no such thing as society..." doesn't mean every man is an island. It means that in the final analysis any true right or responsibility lies with the individual. Assign them to groups and they cause conflict.

So I dragged out my portrait today and we'll have it sitting on the mantelpiece in her honour. RIP Maggie.


Anonymous said...

They just gave me the overwhelming impression that she was callous and hard

of course she was!! That's what made her great!

The fact that the left "still hate Thatcher" shows what a wonderful job she did - and what a pity that the smallminded cowards in her cabinet forced her out long before her time.

"There is no such thing as society..."

means that there are nett taxpayers and bludgers - and that whatever the bludgers want the state to pay for - benefits, super, health & education being the big four - are actually paid for by "the few" - the 10% or less of nett taxpayers.

It was Maggie's life's work to make this fair: to end bludging in the UK. Inspired by her example, we must take up the challenge to end bludging in NZ!

Anonymous said...

Good on you, Linidsay. An excellent portrait. Did you make a career out of art at all, I wonder"
The left are busy running Thatcher's memory through the mud, very bad taste. Thanks for this post.
Thatcher was an amazing person, mother, leader, etc. Iconic.