Artwork of the Month - October 2009
Glasshouses with Steamer
Artist: Sidney Moody
Medium: Oil on canvas
Status: Permanent collection
Item No.: GMAG 2000.121
About the Artist
Sidney Moody was born in London; in the early 1930s he worked as a scenic artist for Gaumont British Film Studios in Shepherds Bush and Pinewood studios. He married a Channel Islander in 1927 and the couple came to live in Guernsey around 1936. Working as a civilian clerk to the British Garrison, Moody evacuated with the troops before the Occupation but returned to the island in 1945. He worked for the States Water Board until his retirement in 1963 and ultimately left the island to live near his daughter's family in Norfolk.
Depicting Everyday Life
This painting by Moody depicts a once common view of a Guernsey greenhouse, chimney and steam steriliser. Steamers were used in the growing industry to sterilise the soil in vineries. A laborious process involving digging trenches, laying pipes and then refilling the trenches was used to ensure that the grower produced disease free Guernsey tomatoes
The interest in depicting everyday life has appeared throughout art history with the detailed Dutch interiors of the 17th century and then later the Impressionists in France and the Bloomsbury Group, in London. It is the work of the Bloomsbury Group which is echoed in this painting, with its rather simplified subdued forms and a personal response to the everyday world.