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On the doorstep

Procrastinating…or to give it its proper title ‘fannying-about’! This is something that I have spent a lot of time doing recently. I still have a couple of outstanding paintings to complete, but have been looking to engage in a bigger project to really get into.

As part of my research into planning this new body of work I visited Newarke Houses Museum and Gardens – somewhere that (as far as I can remember) I have shamefully never visited It is the type of museum I love – set in an old house with a maze of small rooms to wander around, lots of old stuff to look at, and a focus on local social history.

I didn’t take any photographs during my visit - but did learn the following:

  1. I want to consider ways of referencing the history of Leicester’s hosiery trade as a ‘layer’ within my new body of work based on local history (there were some great examples of various garments made by local factories)

  2. Daniel Lambert’s chair would make a good addition as a reading seat in my living room!

  3. I am old! There was a section of the museum dedicated to children’s toys, including He-Men figures that I still have from my childhood!

  4. I have a (not very secret) love of repeated patterns. After seeing a recreated 1970s room this appears to stem back from being surrounded by the remnants of 70s patterned wallpaper growing-up in the 80s!

  5. On the walk back I also popped into The Guildhall. As you may be aware from my previous exhibition ‘Displace’ I have a geeky fascination with local history and ghost stories. I want to focus some of my work on The Guildhall and, during my visit, I was the only person looking around which made it all seem a bit more spooky.

I am not yet sure whether or not I will used the actual environment of The Guildhall in my work, or if I will use signifiers to represent the location. I took a few general photos whilst I was there of some of the rooms to see if I can begin to develop some ideas:

I particularly like the photographs of the old books with the reflections on the protective glass, and the bible on the table is significant in developing my ideas as it is a focus of one of the ghost stories about The Guildhall.

As I have been away from the easel for such a long time I am planning to ease myself in with some simple, small-scale, still life/object paintings. If these work out I might finally be get something onto my Folksy shop (which I subscribed to ages ago and have still not uploaded any work to!).

#TheGuildhall #Leicester #Ghoststories #Hosiery #Localhistory #Heman #Museum #Research #NewarkeHousesMuseumandGarden #DanielLambert #1980s #1970s

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