Friday, 21 August 2009

Kit Williams and the Golden Hare

Like many people of my generation, I've been a long-term fan of the artist Kit Williams, ever since his treasure hunt, Masquerade. I've spent many happy hours gazing at his pictures (published in The Bee on the Comb, Out of One Eye and Engines of Ingenuity). His work is delightfully English, pastoral but with a dark puckish streak running through it. Always there is the sense of a riddle or a secret, just out of reach, that, if only one had the key, would unravel marvellously.

Well, last summer I was lucky enough to meet Kit Williams and to view his current collection. To cut a long story short, my partner ended up modelling for him, and we were both invited to take part in the forthcoming BBC 4 documentary, The Man Behind Masquerade. Here are some photos to give you an idea of what to expect!

We were also lucky enough to have been invited to the preview of his retrospective in London, which, in true Kit Williams style, lasted just one day. I must confess that it was rather full of London arty types - not grubby folkies at all - and we were just on the point of leaving when, lo and behold, a plinth was wheeled in, on top of which was a perspex box, covered in a cloth.

Surely, no? We looked at each other in amazement, hardly daring to speak.

And then, yes! There it was! The Masquerade Golden Hare! It's whereabouts have been unknown for the last twenty years since it was bought by an anomymous buyer. Quite quite extraordinary to see it, something I've dreamed about since I was a child. And, quite possibly, the only time it will be put on public view. I feel very blessed.

And, here's a conincidence, the opening track of the forthcoming Bees album is called, Saddle the Hare, which is partly inspired by one of the pictures in Masquerade. Nice how things turn out.

Andy xxx


  1. thank you for this lovely page on the incredible Kit Williams, the recent radio 4 doc and then the BBC4 programme seen today on i-player brought memories back of the hours os puzzling over Masquerade, but it is his ART that moves me, exquisite detail and luminosity, i could never afford to buy the originals, so we bought two copies of each book and (SSH!) pulled out our favourites and framed them! with love Annie Franklin

  2. Hello! Many thanks for this page, I've always loved Kit Williams work. I'm very jealous of your having participated in the documentary, which I watched last night! I wish Mr Williams would at least allow a book to be made of his lovely pictures so that we could all look at them, even if we'll probably never see the real ones...

    I think I might do what Annie (comment above) did and buy some another copy of Mr Williams' books and frame them!