Pilgrim Poetry Workshop in the Crypt at Worcester Cathedral Worcestershire Literary Festival 2014
The Pilgrim workshop at Worcester Cathedral was shared between artist Sara Hayward and Worcestershire Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle. In the atmospheric crypt the journey of The Worcester Pilgrim was discussed as poets and writers set about discovering their own pilgrimage. Ms Hayward brought along a piece of her artwork as inspiration.
today i have been deciphering the handwriting of all the souls who visited my studio at winterbourne last year and kindly left their email to be reminded of the exhibition. it wasn’t easy; did they mean to write the whole thing in capitals, is that a hyphen or an underscore etc etc. still, i am hoping that those get through will then be forwarded to their friends so ensuring the power of the online jungle drums. we had a load of logs delivered yesterday and i helped paul with the last couple of barrow loads before they get rained upon; the wood store now looks like they do in a magazine and a cosy log fire every evening is a real joy and jut about makes january and february bearable. i suppose they had coal fires at winterbourne at the turn of the century. the winterbourne portrait trail is now up and running and valerie here is upstairs on a corridor; she does look rather aloof, perhaps even a little startled.
Well, today is the first day of my exhibition and it has rained and rained and rained. If we still lived in London we would have spent the day wondering around the V & A and the dog would have crossed his legs. I really like the new boy’s bedroom they have created at Winterbourne with its male atmosphere and masculine furnishings. This portrait study of Ken hangs very well in there an it is uncanny how the colours work so well together as it hadn’t been created when I painted this. Strange to think this room was my original studio exactly one year ago until I moved to the hay Loft studio in June. You can just about make out the use of varnish in an Edwardian tulip motif across his face. I like the look of youthful apprehension in his face. We were all there once.
quite a few people have a soft spot for young lois because of her enormous hat and serious expression. i suspect this portrait study will go in the boy’s room at winterbourne next to the portrait study of ken which i will be uploading in the next few days. in my studio in worcester i am just putting the finishing touches to some of the larger semi abstract paintings; it is hard to believe that this time next week they will be all hung at winterbourne. can’t wait to see them in the freshly painted contemporary coach house gallery at winterbourne so that i can stand right back and get a take on them all; plus seeing the portraits dotted around the house will put them in a very different sort of context. i have a lot to do before then however!
A collaboration between Indian filmmaker, Parul Punjabi and British artist, Sara Hayward, the film recreates the life of an Edwardian English family and the several secrets they held- relying heavily on the dreams and memories of the various characters, instead of a linear, narrative description of their lives. Set in the idyllic, quintessentially English Winterbourne House and Gardens and structured loosely as a meditative, mood-poem, the film seeks to capture both the exterior visible reality and the inner subtle reality of its characters.
Building on Proust’s famous quote, ‘Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were’, the filmmakers pay homage to the very idea of memory as they collectively remember the everyday life in the early 20th century. With no dialogue, the natural sounds and dreamlike imagery become crucial in evoking this memory of a bygone era.
my studio at winterbourne was adjacent to nina’s teenage bedroom so i walked though her bedroom daily on the way to my studio. this was the first portrait study i made of the family and it was instinctive, happening quite quickly. much of the reference material i used, old photographs etc., showed the ladies in different hats. i do like hats and have a whole selection myself. i hope i’ve managed to capture a touch of the teenage angst i dimly remember. i like the palette i used and the palest duck egg blue background.