Wylie Rose - P8603 - Bagdad Cafe 2015

© Courtesy The Artist and Union Gallery

Bagdad Cafe (Film Notes) 2015

Rose Wylie (1934 – )


182 x 372 cm
oil on canvas
Accession number


Rose Wylie (born Kent 1943) studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, and at the Royal College of Art. Her work is centred on painting and drawing and is inspired by wide-ranging sources from antiquity to celebrity gossip. Wylie paints bold and loosely-painted canvases, often working from memory and including text. Her compositions and repeated motifs recall collage and filmic framing devices. Bagdad Café is one of Wylie’s ongoing ‘Film Notes’ series, depicting and distilling remembered cinematic moments which have made a visual impression on her.

Bagdad Café is one of my on-going film-series of paintings; it 'amalgams' the whole idea, rather than one particular visual shot. The preliminary drawings were done on old torn-out diary pages: they give a number-based metaphysical feel to the painting when included with the wild flowers on the left and right; while the 'disarming' girl in the middle is a 'merge' of the two main stars, Marianne Sagebrecht and CCH Pounder. The spoon, mouth and coffee suggest 'cafe'.

The film anyway,  I see as an exploration of Shakespeare's Tempest, complete with 'shipwreck', and the conflict of intuition, music, and magic with knowledge; there is as well, a painting thrown in by Jack Palance… primitive, memorable, and strongly in the 'plot’.

The 'pleated white frock' is a swap for the good brown pleated suit 'Jasmin' wears in the film, and her iconic feather has morphed into the green leaf (of the very enlarged pink Convolvulous) on top of her head. This pink Convolvulous also suggests gramaphone/music and from the film, J S Bach…great, and unexpected.” Rose Wylie, in correspondence, 2016.