Watch and Listen

Learn more about Sidney Sime and his life and work from these films and audio recordings.

The imagination of Sidney Sime

This video was filmed in the Gallery in 2013.  It explores Sime’s personal background and his aims, approach and pre-occupations as a painter and illustrator, using examples of his work from the Gallery’s collection.  Those taking part are Anne Philps, the former curator of the Sime Gallery, Mary Broughton and Terry Cater from the Trustees, and two outside experts – Geoffrey Beare, chairman of the Imaginative Book Illustration Society, and Tim Dolby, who was a picture restorer and artist, and who  restored a number of our paintings.  Sadly Tim died in May 2022 – he is greatly missed by all. 

The video was produced, directed and edited by Alex Hedger, with Joshua Bartolo-Smyth, William Brown and Jonny Byczok as additional crew. The music is by Kevin MacLeod

Bogey Beasts

Devotees of Sime’s art will be familiar with a little book Bogey Beasts published in 1923 by Goodwin & Tabb. It comprised 15 full-page black and white drawings of fantastic but harmless beasts reminiscent of Lewis Carroll, each accompanied by a ‘jingle’ – a descriptive verse – and a complementary musical score composed by Sime’s friend and fellow devotee of Edgar Allen Poe, Joseph Holbrooke. Although little heard now, Holbrooke was a talented musician, renowned in the 1920s for his adventurous and modernistic compositions; these pieces have a haunting sound reminiscent of Ravel. In Bogey Beasts their talents combined well to produce an ephemeral blend of images and sounds that was at once morbid, bizarre and humorous.

Many drawings were modified reproductions of a series which appeared in The Sketch in 1905 called ‘Sime Zoology – Beasts That Might Have Been’, with the jingles added later.

Narrator: Nick Higham
Piano: Professor Francis Pott
Tenor: Nigel Evans-Thompson

Recording: Julio Molina-Montenegro
Editor: Andrew Manasseh
Producer: Mary Broughton
Director: Tracey Mannasseh
A PictureLed Production
Reproduced with permission of the Estate of Joseph Holbrooke (1877-1958)

All rights reserved, Worplesdon Memorial Trustees, 2015.

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