Stanley Kubrick in widow’s new portrait shown at Childwickbury Arts Fair
- Credit: Archant
The “ghost” of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is featured giving the thumb’s up in a new portrait being painted by his energetic 82-year-old widow at his St Albans home.
Although a work in progress, the painting attracted the attention of scores of admirers at the three-day Childwickbury Arts Fair, July 4-6, where Christiane Kubrick was joined by more than 60 artists and craftspeople.
The event, in its 11th year, drew its biggest crowd yet with 4,000 visitors making their way along the rhododendron tree-lined access to Childwickbury Estate.
After Stanley’s death in 1999, professional artist Christiane remained at the manor – the couple moved to Childwickbury in 1978.
And he is at the heart of her latest painting, with Christiane depicting images that she has spotted of him on search engine Google.
These are bordering a larger painting of Stanley who is in the centre, giving the thumbs up sign.
Christiane said: “I look him up sometimes on Google and I see pictures of him that I haven’t seen before.
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“So I’m putting those around the outside; they are of pictures of sets and films. I’m putting him as a ghost in the middle of it.”
She explained that inspiration came not only from the internet but from being on location during filming in Ireland.
Stanley bought Christiane a yellow Volvo, where she would sit painting while he worked nearby.
The filmmaker would “pantomime what was going on from a distance; he would give me a thumbs up and a grin”.
Christiane said that she thrived on having fellow artists and craftspeople around her at the fair.
They, in return, praised the event and their vivacious host.
Painter Angela Allaway, who grew up in St Albans and prefers painting while barefoot, said: “Christiane is like an energy force, even though she is in her 80s. We are like moths to her flame. This is like an artists’ camp.”
Angela’s oil paintings focus on woodland scenes, influenced by the likes of the nearby leafy Ashridge estate.
St Albans spray painter John Feeney, who did graphic design work on Flash Gordon, said it was his seventh arts fair at Childwickbury.
He added: “It’s a great environment, relaxed atmosphere and I’m able to interact with people.”
John’s display included spray-painted depictions of super-villain The Joker and Breaking Bad character Walter White.
The harsh Australian climate and particularly its bushfires provide inspiration for Sam Peacock of Wimbledon.
He uses a mix of coffee, sugar, carbolic soap, paraffin wax and even liquorice for his landscapes. These are set onto a piece of steel, which is then held over a fire.
A toned-down version of using heat in art could be found in the form of glass creations crafted by Siddy Langley.
She became hooked on the medium after completing a weekend course 35 years ago “for a giggle”. Afterwards, the Devon resident immediately put her dress shop on the market.
Siddy explained: “I live and breathe glass. It’s got a life of its own, and although it doesn’t always cooperate, it’s a fabulous medium.”
She described her ninth annual fair at the St Albans site as “an absolute treat. It’s the biggest show of the year. The setting is wonderful, people are lovely and the atmosphere is fantastic.”