31. Little Moreton Hall
cm. Owner's frame
So determined was he to celebrate the wonderful geometry of this building that it almost fills its painting's surface. Ivor first visited this, one of the best known National Trust properties, in the early 70s, and would have composed this picture shortly after. It was the kind of house that was bound to make a lasting impression on him, being more like a farm than a mansion. Its distortions give the building a home-made character, making it appear as a Tudor do-it-yourself, and this would have made it even more appealing. It was not just his disobedience to the laws of perspective which gives his building such a distorted appearance. To walk the length of the long gallery is rather like walking the deck of a ship in a storm, yet, though many of the timbers have warped alarmingly, the skilled carpentry of its builders has ensured that the house has held together. Surely needing a photograph to help him with the precise structure of the building, he patiently created an accurate version of the structural patterns throughout. However, his aim was not only to copy the building but, in celebrating its wonderful artistry, to make it a living place. There is no museum fustiness about his addition of boxes of flowers beside the moat and the visitors pausing at the entrance to enjoy the view. (A detail of the painting also follows).