Bell, Trevor (1930-2017): Five Bar, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 288 cms. Purchased with grant aid from The Nerys Johnson Contemporary Art Fund, The National Art Collections Fund and the MLA/V & A Museum Purchase Fund.
Five Bar was painted in Florida and was inspired by the rocket thrust Bell witnessed on 7 December 1972 at the launch of Apollo 17,the first night time launch of a space mission. The night sky was turned a bright, vivid blue by the rockets exhaust fumes. This sight of extraordinary beauty and awesome power had a great effect on him, inspiring an important series of paintings culminating in Five Bar, which Bell considers one of his finest works.