Feliks Topolski: artist notes on 'Memoir of the Century' - 31 Diary
The Diary grows with my current experiences. And so, having gone to Rome to witness (and draw) the Inauguration of Pope John Paul II on the 22 October 1978, I started with this theme and dated it; the soaring Pope in embrace with the Polish Pope-maker Cardinal Wyszynski is set ceremoniously over the international establishment - and Rome's street terror. By coincidence, the night before I attended in London a naughty phantasmagoria: the 'Alternative Miss World'. The irresistible contrast in the tradition of 'heaven-hell' paintings.
In Britain, social rifts deepen: Lady Diana Duff-Cooper symbolises the confident gloss, young punks and blacks begin to dominate at street level.
1979, Windsor Castle: Prince Charles, encountered at polo-practice seated on a wooden horse in a net cage, crowns the confused British scene. 1980 - witnessing the unsparing calamity of Belfast; Enoch Powell and the 'Reverend' Paisley televised.
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