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Abortion as a subject matter in my pictures


Creating my Nursery Rhyme prints
Paula Rego Artist
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And then, luckily... luckily, Paul Coldwell said: ’Why don’t you come and do some prints?’ And I began doing my nursery rhymes and everything that had been squashed in there, all the ideas and all the stuff that hadn’t... all came... all came pouring out. There were like four prints done at a time. He said ’This is like a pizza parlour in here’. I’m holding these plates, you know, four at a time and so-on. Because it was just come... it was just such a relief because the stories, you know, were there. They were... I started by doing the ones that my granddaughter knew and I went on. I got the Opie book and I used to read a story, a... a nursery rhyme at night and then, in the morning, I’d come up with an image. And I just... they just came out and out and out and out and out and out, until it finished. And then that was that. And then, of course, they travelled around the world and you gave them to people and, you know... Oh, yeah, they’ve been everywhere, because the British Council took them round places and so-on and they were shown everywhere, they still are. They still are. Amazing, isn’t it? And I loved doing prints. I got then into the... the thing of doing... I did all my etchings with Paul and then later on I... I turned to lithography; but it was much later on.

Portuguese painter Paula Rego (1935-2022) became part of the London Group in 1965, was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989 and became the first Associate Artist of the National Gallery in London in 1990. Her work is strongly influenced by folk and fairy tales, especially those of her homeland.

Listeners: Catherine Lampert

Catherine Lampert is an independent curator, art historian and Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts. She was director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1988-2001) and has been a model for Frank Auerbach since 1978. Her recent projects include exhibitions of Rodin (Royal Academy 2006) and Lucian Freud (Dublin, Denmark and The Hague 2007-2008) as well as a book on Francis Alys (Turner Libros) and a catalogue raisonné of Euan Uglow's paintings (Yale University Press 2007).

Duration: 1 minute, 31 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2007

Date story went live: 17 July 2008