5 July 2013

David Inshaw’s ‘The Badminton Game’ in Bath

A painting by David Inshaw (born 1943), The Badminton Game (1972-73), is currently on temporary loan to the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, not far from its setting, Devizes (Wiltshire, SW England). Inshaw was a member of the 'Brotherhood of Ruralists' group of artists active in the area from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, as was Peter Blake. The work is described in the Gallery's press release as both “rarely seen” and “iconic”. The latter aspect of its reputation must be on the basis of reproductions, as relatively few people ever set foot in 10 Downing Street, which is where the painting seems to have spent most of its time on display since its presentation to the Tate collection in 1980.

The glossy fortnightly Bath Life magazine gave the loan a full page in its current issue (above). I’m sure they had no intention of their comment being as pointed as it might read – “so that people in the West may view it without charge”. Unlike the Gallery’s previous exhibition of works also in public ownership, the Art Council’s Henry Moores, then.


Andrew Lambirth, the Spectator's art critic, interviewed David Inshaw, who still lives in Devizes, just before his birthday in March.


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