I made two new pictures today.
I have also started a project where I ask the following questions;
1. If you could bring something of your own into the castle and place it somewhere what would that thing be and where would you want to place .It could be a family photograph, something you have made or would want to make, you can be as imaginative as you want.
2. Think about exactly where you would want to place the thing in the castle or grounds.Are there particular reasons why you would want to put it in your chosen place.Would it have a relationship with other objects or spaces, if so how would you describe that?
Joy, a volunteer who has been helping in a number of ways including a recent tour for all the artists looking at the painting collection , responded as follows-
1. My immediate reaction was that I wanted to bring a piece of art which pleases, intrigues or entertains me (or all three) and is specific to this area. I can’t make anything myself but have collected a few things which I never tire of looking at. I was first drawn to my three framed photographs (69 x 51.5 cm) done by Ed Povey of his local murals (now much faded), one in Menai Bridge, one in Caernarfon and the last in Portmadoc. I looked at our pieces of glass, wood-carvings, paintings, pottery etc but always came back to the Povey on the outside of Portmadoc pottery because since I had the three pieces in 2008 I have never worked everything in it out and it fulfils all three criteria. It is the luxury item I would take to my desert island if I was on Desert Island Discs because it would always remind me of family holidays before we came to live here in 1979 and life here after that.
2. I would put it in the larders down in the kitchen area because when the NT first took over in the 1950’s the space was rented to a privately run pottery down there. It would have a relationship with a former use of the area and the artisan skills used there then and since. The visual art of the mural itself connects with the visual art in the dishes produced, the subject matter connects with the kitchen earthenware around it, the plant pots used in the gardens to grow the vegetables (six acres of kitchen garden) and form a contrast with the finer crockery and porcelain in the china room. Lastly the history: Lloyd George is in the mural and he railed against George Sholto constantly in Parliament making George ‘the most hated man in Britain’ and causing him to flee to Yorkshire during the strike.
2. I thought about our conversation yesterday and me thinking about Banksy’s six weeks of incognito presence in the British Museum before it caused a stir. Then I thought about me calling pots and food presentation ‘artisan’ in my last email to you and my decision to put my Ed Povey ‘below stairs’. then I thought how Grayson Perry’s pots have removed the classification of ‘artisan’ by making his work sit alongside so-called ‘fine porcelain’ and ‘historic tapestries’, occupying the same space as they do but with either ‘controversial’ or ‘relevant’ subject matter, or both, whatever your opinion is: there is one of his pot’s in The National Museum, Cardiff alongside so-called ‘fine’ stuff. It’s just like the medieval goldsmiths and woodcarvers fighting to have parity with painters. So I am changing my chosen location for the Ed Povey’s ‘Pots: Porthmadoc. I would put it in the Dining Room putting a pottery workshop on a par with the fine Minton china. I thought my choice also connected with the Antonio de Pereda which brings a kitchen‘above stairs’. So that would be my photograph’s connection with its surroundings in the Dining Room.
Joy sent me an image of the picture which I posted above . Joy has also placed the questions in the volunteer room and e mailed them to other volunteers. I am hoping they will respond. Anyone reader who is interested please kindly e mail me your response at emrys.w@ntl world.com and I will include it in the blog.