OUR Sunday night social media reflection this week plunges us into the art world, and particularly landscapes from the 1930s and 1940s.
Our host is @HenryRothwell, whose morning and evening tweets pay tribute to artists like Eric Ravilious, transporting us to that unsettling period between the wars when the outstanding British painter and designer, best known for his watercolours of the South Downs, was at the height of his creative powers.
Rothwell’s favourite featured artists include John and Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and George Clausen, but range from 19th-century works to contemporary artists like Anna Dillon, whose ongoing Wessex Airscapes exhibition at the Sewell Centre Gallery highlights her collaboration with aerial photographer Hedley Thorne based on their shared passion for the landscapes of Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
Rothwell’s own Twitter identity is slightly cryptic, but the “recovering” archaeologist is based near Wells in Somerset and has a particular interest in using digital media in the presentation of archaeology, spending much of his time developing a digital map of the hillforts of Britain.
But it is his fascination with art which has won him more than 30,000 followers on Twitter over the past decade and which translated into a small family business in February 2021, when Rather Good Art was launched, offering postcards and greetings cards based on the work of those favourite artists.
From small beginnings the number of cards on offer is steadily increasing, with the range of featured artists now extending to Van Gogh and Klimt.
Back on his Twitter feed, Rothwell’s enthusiasm for English landscapes allows him to sweep around the country, from Norfolk to Cornwall, from Kent to the south-west of England, perhaps pausing for a moment to study a favourite work by the contemporary artist David Alderslade, for example, based in his caravan on the edge of Salisbury Plain.
He does stray further afield on occasion, to Scotland, France or even Canada, and to coast and city scenes too, but his roots are firmly in the English landscapes of Ravilious, Nash and contemporaries like Claughton Pellew.
Away from social media, Rothwell reveals yet another range of interests on his Notes for the Curious website which, alongside book reviews and occasional essays, features a score of Grave Goods interviews with a range of writers, historians, musicians, comedians and others deciding which items they might like to accompany them to the afterlife on their final “great adventure”.
Like our other Tweet of the Week selections, Henry Rothwell is able to lift our spirits and transport us into a different dimension – and who can ask for anything more from their social media friends?
In case you missed them, here are some other favourites:
@TheBeyonderUK: Our Chilterns online magazine may be small, but we do aim to brighten our followers’ week with features, interviews and interesting places to explore on our doorstep.
Do you have any nominations for favourite Twitter accounts which brighten your life? Let us know your favourites by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if they should be featured in our Sunday night series.