Sunday 25 March 2012

View out of the Billiards Room | embroidery in the Morning Room | flowers in the Conservatory | Mrs Beale's wedding dress | again | rainy afternoon | more of the Conservatory | embroidered bedspread | signed copy of a novel by Thomas Hardy | embroidered bedlinen | jam and crumbs (the house is set up for a typical day in the 1920's) | childrens' books | murky view of the rain from the servants' quarters

Photographs from my very quick trip to Standen, a National Trust house near where I live. It's famous for its William Morris interiors throughout - fabrics, hangings, and wallpaper all over the place. It is a classic Arts and Crafts house designed by Phillip Webb and Morris himself.

I took a very brief trip home last weekend for Mothers' Day and this was how I spent my Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately the weather was completely miserable and the rain was enough to stop us wandering around the gardens, where I was hoping to get hundreds of images of my fail-safe subject; plants. As I didn't have any battery in my own dSLR (my battered Pentax K100D Super, which I posted about here) my mum thankfully allowed me to take hers instead (Nikon D300S, which I posted about here). I'd completely forgotten how to use it once I got inside! Luckily a quick call to my mother allowed me to find the combination of buttons to adjust ISO and my photographs looked slightly less rubbish.

My original intention for visiting Standen was to have a quick look at the second floor room where the books are displayed. My grandmother is a steward at the house and she'd noticed some books displaying lovely illustrations of children's tales. I'm currently doing a bit of research into fairytales and childrens' stories, and their appropriation into adult culture, with a view to maybe doing something similar with my dissertation. My dissertation is actually just under two years away, so it's a bit early to start thinking about it yet... however, fairytales seem to have had a revival recently, with fashion shoots, visual work and written re-imaginings galore. I don't want to get there, decide on this topic and then have to try and dig out research which I could have been doing along the way. I've even got a (completely unnecessary) sketchbook ready - I must really be missing my art school days.

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