Hannah Gluckstein to a wealthy and close-knit London family in 1895,
the artist Gluck changed her name (forbidding the addition of quotes or
prefix) in her early adulthood. A sharply dressed fixture on the London
scene of the 1920s and ’30s, she held a number of highly praised
“one-man shows” at the Fine Art Society on London’s Bond Street. For
these, she painted scenes from the London stage, the landscape of
Cornwall and Sussex, startling and modish arrangements of flowers,
portraits of those in her social circle and surprisingly candid
depictions of her romantic life. Some 90 years after her first
exhibition at the Fine Art Society, the gallery is staging a substantial
retrospective alongside a group show responding to Gluck’s legacy.
As she entered adult life, Gluck commenced wearing tailored suits,
and had her hair cut at a gentlemen’s hairdresser and her footwear made
by the royal bootmaker. This portrait of Gluck in her artist’s smock,
taken in 1926 when she was 31, was by Howard Coster, a self-styled
“photographer of men.”
the light dances to whale song across the swell of the tide and she dances in my thoughts, to the type of music i imagine a sea breeze tastes like.
she is the smoke from the roaring fire, she catches at the back of my throat and i choke. i am breathless every time she graces the air with her presence.
when it rains i feel her fingers on my face. the water leaves tracks like tears but the only crying i am capable of when she is near is the kind of crying i smile through.
i am the breath that carries the voice but she is the sound.
i am the moon but she is the stars and i find myself in darkness without her. when i catch a glimpse it is every dawn in an endless summer, though winter is just as precious- through the long nights she sprawls in abundance along orion’s belt, her hair cradled on andromeda.