Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Have you done your pruning?

If you have, you're probably more organised that me. If not, you may want to have a look at the picture below for some inspiration.

The painting is called "A 1944 Pastoral : Land Girls Pruning at East Malling" by Evelyn Dunbar and is available on the Manchester Art Gallery website. The information accompanying the picture explains that: "Recruits from the Women's Land Army are here shown pruning apple trees in a small village just outside Maidstone in Kent. The Land Army was set up to encourage women to work on farms to help the war effort. The surround of hands with secateurs
suggests diagrams from a training manual".

You may have already guessed that the setting is The East Malling Research Station, confirmed by Brian Foss (2007) in his book "War Paint: Art, War, State and Identity in Britain, 1939-1945". If you are interested in learning more about the painting you can read the relevant section of Foss' book on Google Book Search or have a look at the an article in the Telegraph on Dunbar's work

Right, where did I put my secateurs...

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