Summer Exhibition 1976

On Friday night we watched a film which was made by Jenny Barraclough about the Summer Exhibition made for the BBC in 1976.   Many aspects of the exhibition remain the same:  the way that television loves to track the hopes and aspirations of the unknown entrant, the policeman who claims his work was bought by the Queen, the cartographer who gets his work accepted, the lonely old lady who doesn’t, the man in a camper van who can’t find his way to the back entrance;  the role of the President is the same and of the committee;  but some things are surprisingly different, most especially how truly terrible a lot of the work looks, and how much less veneered people are on television, more hippyish, less self-aware, so many with untrimmed beards.


4 thoughts on “Summer Exhibition 1976

  1. pbmum says:

    I can’t imagine why I have such strong memories of this but I can remember Jenny Barraclough and her husband Michael building their home in the Isle of Dogs, near to the foot tunnel that we used to walk through as teens to get to the pubs of Greenwich. I think it was part of a sensation we had of change in the East End in those times – people choosing to come and live in our grotty bit of London when many of our neighbours were anxious to get out. I remember also the excitement at David Owen sending his child to a local nursery and of course the whole Limehouse Declaration thing.


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