The English Knight
The launch of the booklet The English Knight short stories by Christopher Long, illustrated by Timur D'Vatz takes place at The Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London, on 9 December 2014.
This cover design for The English Knight short stories by Christopher Long incorporates detail from Timur D'Vatz's illustration of The English Knight, one of a set of ten canvasses first exhibited at the Galerie de Buci, Paris, in October 2014 and later shown at The Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London, in December 2014.
The English Knight English version
The English Knight French version
Christopher Long was born and educated in England and was originally destined for a career at the English bar. However he abandoned the Inner Temple for nearby Fleet Street, becoming a reporter and columnist for the London Newspaper Group, The Evening Standard and London Portrait Magazine. As a specialist in Central London affairs he also contributed to radio and a variety of magazines. In 1987 he became the founding editor of World Magazine and in 1990 of The Music Magazine, both subsequently acquired by the BBC.
Above: A United Nations press card, issued during the darkest days of the Sarajevo siege in the summer of 1992.
He might easily have remained a familiar figure at the heart of London life but for a chance trip to Macedonia in April 1989. There he found he was the sole foreign correspondent in a position to report brutal repression in Pristina, the capital of neighbouring Kosovo.
Convinced that widespread war in Yugoslavia was inevitable, he made a speciality of Balkan affairs and covered the conflicts (1991-99) which consumed Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and finally Kosovo again. These barbaric wars killed 140,000 men, women and children, producing four million refugees.
As a correspondent for The Evening Standard, BBC Radio News, BBC World Service, Sky TV, SABC, ITN, Channel 4, Globus, LBC, Radio Croatia, Reuters Radio News and The Observer among others, he witnessed the sieges of Dubrovnik and Sarajevo, the dismemberment of Mostar and genocide throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. The cruelty in Mostar made a great impression on him and there he was a producer of a TV documentary for NHK Japan.
Left: Christopher on a mined road near Sibernik in 1991.
He paid a high personal price for his eleven tours in the Balkans but one happy consequence was that these experiences provoked him to introduce us to The English Knight.
“I had spent my professional life reporting current events as dispassionately as possible and recording the lives and achievements of others. But in the Balkans, when I thought I might not survive the war I was reporting, I must have had an overwhelming need to review my own life and to leave some written trace of myself. Fortunately a knight came to my rescue.
“At the time I thought I was experimenting in writing fables with a child-like simplicity of form. I certainly never intended them to be autobiographical. Now, of course, I can see them for what they are and that they were destined for adults for people who know that little in life is simple. The stories describe defining moments we each experience in our own way times when we are most alone.
“Reading them today, I’m as surprised as anyone to see myself learning to deal with love and betrayal, with kindness and cruelty, discovering fundamental truths in my chosen profession and accepting that one has little strength until one acknowledges one’s weakness. And finally I see myself preparing for old age and death. There’s a happy ending however because in this book I am even younger in the last story than I was in the first.”
Above: Today, Christopher Long lives with his wife Sarah on a small farm in the heart of rural Normandy.
The English Knight English version
The English Knight French version
© (2014) Christopher A. Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
The text and graphical content of this and linked documents are the copyright of their author and or creator and site designer, Christopher Long, unless otherwise stated. No publication, reproduction or exploitation of this material may be made in any form prior to clear written agreement of terms with the author or his agents.
A potential front cover design (at the top of this page, designed by Christopher Long © 2014) was offered to a French publisher who at one stage planned to publish the The English Knight stories under the title of The English Knight & Le chevalier français. The design incorporates detail from the painting The English Knight by Timur D'Vatz [© 2014], 80 x 80 cm, oil on canvas, first exhibited at the Galerie de Buci, Paris, in October 2014.
TIMUR D'VATZ is an artist whose work is to be found in collections and galleries throughout the world.
Born in Moscow in 1968, he grew up in Uzbekistan and studied at the Republican College of Art in Tashkent (1983-87) before moving to London in 1992.
In London he won a post-graduate place at the Royal Academy of Arts Schools (1993-96) and was awarded the Jack Goldhill and Sir James Walker Scholarships.
While still a student in London he started the regular bi-annual London shows at The Cadogan Contemporary Gallery which attracted his first collectors, some of whom remain clients to this day.
Right: Timur D'Vatz in his summer studio in Normandy.
Soon after, working from his studios in London and Normandy, he built his formidable reputation based on one, two or even three major exhibitions each year, at galleries in London, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, Venice, Scotland, New York, Florence and Lisbon.
Timur first met Christopher Long in Moscow 1992 during the 'Moscow Spring', when Christopher was reporting on 'revolutionary' Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Six months later Timur settled in London. They have remained firm friends ever since.
Right: Three of Timur's sketches dating from 1997 when he first worked on illustrating The English Knight stories, then provisionally entitled 'Once...'. The last image was a card painted by Timur for the author's 70th birthday, the English Knight having found, it seems, his Grail!
In 1996 Christopher showed Timur the series of short stories then entitled 'Once...' that were to become 'The English Knight. Together they explored the possibility of Timur illustrating them.
Although they recognised that their work blends perfectly and that both Christopher's stories and Timur's paintings concern eternal themes that confront all of humanity, it took 18 years for their collaboration to come to fruition in 2014.
TIMUR D'VATZ EXHIBITIONS
2014: Cadogan Contemporary, solo exhibition, London.
2014: Galerie de Buci, solo exhibition, Paris.
2013: Alif Gallery, solo exhibition, Dubai.
2013: Galerie de Buci, solo exhibition, Paris.
2013: Uzbekistan Embassy exhibition, London.
2012: The Influence of Historicism, Medici Gallery, London.
2012: Cadogan Contemporary, solo exhibition, London.
2011: London Fashion Week, set design for Corrie Nielsen Show at Somerset House, London.
2010: Design Museum, London.
2009: Opera Gallery, Singapore.
2009: Cadogan Contemporary, solo exhibition.
2008: Opera Gallery, Dubai: Alecos Fassianos and Timur D’Vatz.
2007: Cadogan Contemporary, one-man exhibition, London.
2007: Opera Gallery, Venice.
2006: Cadogan Contemporary, one-man exhibition, London.
2006: Opera Gallery, Paris.
2004: Cadogan Contemporary, one-man exhibition, London.
2002: Cadogan Contemporary, one-man exhibition, London.
2002: Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scotland.
2002: BP Portrait Award 2002, National Portrait Gallery, London.
2002: Modigliani Centre, Florence.
2001: Bruton Street Gallery, London.
2000: Cadogan Contemporary, one-man exhibition, London.
1997: Kouros Gallery, New York: five students show from the Royal Academy of Arts.
1996: Degree Show Royal Academy of Arts.
1996: Awarded A. T. Kearney Prize.
1995: Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London.
1994: Cadogan Contemporary, London.
1994: '3+3' Exhibition, Bruton Street Gallery, London.
1994: Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London.
1994: Awarded Guinness Prize for 'First Time Exhibitor'.
1994: Cricket Hill Associates, New York.
1993: Cadogan Contemporary, London.
1992: Cadogan Contemporary, London.