Skip to main content
Lux OnlineHomeThemesArtistsWorkEducationEducationToursHelpSearch
Artists Essay Artist's home pageArtists essay index page
Nick WadleyClick here to Print this Page
Anne Rees Mogg
The stitching also joins up with the words she chose from Eliot's poem 'Ash Wednesday' for Living Memory (1980).

'Because I do not hope to turn again… why should I mourn the vanished power?... Time is always time, and place is always only place. And what is actual is actual only for one time and only for one place'. And, finally: 'Because I do not hope to turn again, I rejoice that things are as they are, and I rejoice having to construct a thing upon which to rejoice'. It's hard to imagine a sermon text more made to measure.

It also joins hands, three years later, with the significance of walking in her Grandfather's Footsteps, and with her sensing 'a timelessness in my affinity with him'. Beside the unchanging Somerset landscape in Anne's films, with its cows and cornfields, and the continuous threads of family likeness and shared values - beside all these things, the transience of Eliot's 'actual' is exposed. Maybe we should recognise the survival of all the accidental, casual and imperfect moments that litter the films as evidence, proof even of this transient actual time, everyday blemishes that confirm the timeless by contrast? And the deadpan definition of things that runs like a ritual throughout her work suggests that these things, too, are passing incidents in a continuum, with no more meaning than their description. This includes the people as well, of course. 'Life's but a walking shadow', Macduff reminds us in Macbeth a tragedy. The fleeting glimpse of eroticism in A Length of Time (1970) is best understood as a lament for the transience of the flesh. Later in the same film, Anthony as a child running across a field with a butterfly net cuts to his grandmother walking through the same field with a stick.

For those who knew Anne, the films are powerfully nostalgic, but they contain means to meet the emotion with equanimity. The emotional impulses, like us who experience them, are just more beads on the string, things in the time of Anne's life.

Nick Wadley, August 2008
Nick Wadley's 20+ years teaching at Chelsea School of Art coincided precisely with Anne Rees-Mogg's time there, and from 1970 she taught in his department. He writes about art and makes drawings, often for other writers.
Real Time, 1971-74
Go to top of                             page