Sunday, September 27, 2020

GORDON BREWSTER AND DETAIL


Click on any image for a larger version

One of the characteristics of Brewster's cartoons that fascinates and amuses me is his attention to detail. It is not always needed to the degree he puts it into the cartoons, but there is some little obsession of the perfectionist there, or is he sometime making a particular comment or having a little joke?

This post could end up a mile long, but I am confining myself to just a few examples. I think you'll get the message.

There is a huge amount of detail in the flu virus above, although, to be fair, it takes up a significant portion of the overall picture, below.





This is clearly a coal mine, but as you'll see below it is only an insignificant portion of the full cartoon.


The cartoon refers to the UK 1926 miners strike.




This is one of my favourite details. Is that a smirk or just plain rapture on the fiddler's face?


Maybe why I like it so much is that I used to play in a pit orchestra and compared to being onstage it was always great fun.

I can't leave this one without pointing out that the context is the Imperial Economic Conference of 1932, a meeting at Ottawa intended to devise new arrangements for intra-imperial trade; Britain was keen to keep or gain privileged access to empire markets, but it was reluctant to meet the desire of empire countries. Anyone for Brexit?

Incidentally it was the last Imperial Conference that any Irish government participated in. Our rep was Seán T O'Kelly, described in the attendance list as Vice President (which he was of the Executive Council at the time).




This detail is quite a significant proportion of the full cartoon, but what catches my attention here is that the people are representations of real personalities of the day. I'm not great at identifying them but I think I see Yeats, Lennox Robinson, and one, if not two, of the Sheils brothers





You might be tempted to comment here that this is a rather sloppy image of the Kaiser, but when you see it is just a small picture on the wall in the full cartoon, you might change your mind.

Note the detail in the mirror.




I am not concerned here with the content of this cartoon which is a turf war between the Corpo and the Port Authority on who is responsible for safety on Dollymount strand.

Rather, my attention was drawn to the Martello Tower (No.1 Dublin North) towards the top left of the picture.


Source

Here you can see it in a little more detail. And would you not be glad to put that on your wall as it is. And, just in passing, it is no accident that it is there. Brewster knew his Martello Towers well.

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