The wonderful Opening Ceremony heralded a unique fortnight of British sporting excellence and proved that in matters cultural as well as sporting Team GB bore the palm. What many people have forgotten, is that it was ever thus and there has long been a connection between art and Olympic sport. In 1928, an artist called Laura Knight won a silver medal for her painting entitled The Boxer.
Laura Knight (nee Johnson), was born in Long Eaton, Debyshire, in 1877 and by the time of her death in 1970, she had acquired an international reputation for excellence.
Her studies of ballet dances were especially admired and she met some of the world’s most accomplished dancers, including perhaps the greatest of them all, Anna Pavlova.
From September 22 –November 4 Nottingham University campus will be hosting an exhibition of her work at the Djanogly Gallery, entitled ‘Laura Knight in the Open Air’. I do hope that people will take the opportunity to support this exhibition and pay homage to a locally-born artist who had the distinction of being an Olympic medallist.
Sport is important and the success of these tremendous Olympics in London has shown what a difference financial investment can make.We should apply this principle also to investment in the arts.
As we prepare to welcome our local Olympians on their return from glory in London, our homage to Laura Knight also should remind us of the truth of John F. Kennedy’s words: “The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of our powers along lines of excellence.”
Cllr Howard Griffiths
Erewash Labour Group