My legacy is my art. I have painted for years. I hope that someone wants them when I’ve gone.
I was involved in painting several murals over my time as an artist, but sadly most of them have been destroyed in one way or another. I painted a mural in the stairwell of the Unemployment action centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent just after I finished college. Then we found the building was going to be demolished. So myself and a friend got permission to go in and take photos. Unfortunately the photographs came back blank. The film had not been attached to the spool and was not exposed!
Then I painted some murals with a council art group. Over a few weeks we worked on a school canteen (alien/ sci-fi landscape) a ward at a hospital (images of Stoke-on-Trent to aid elderly patients memories), and a memorial for the 1914 to 18 war. All of these were demolished.
Finally I did twelve murals at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. This took me the good part of two years on and off. The painting above was a mural I did of the Burslem riot of 1842? I researched it and a lot of the characters were based on local Burlem residents and people who worked at or frequented the Leopard. All of the murals were destroyed in a fire that burnt down the hotel.
I have also painted scenery for the local pantomime and Mystery plays, but I don’t know what has happened to them.
So if this isn’t my legacy what is? All the paintings and artwork I have created over the years since I was a child. Not all of them still exist. Art turns out to be quite ephemeral in some ways. But I’ve sold enough that, if no one wants the ones I still have, the rest have gone to new owners. Even if they were to appear in charity shops, I hope that some do find good homes.
Me a couple of years ago painting banners for our mystery play we did. These are pictures of the willow pattern from Spode that I was copying for the performance. We hold it on a Saturday towards the start of July. Unfortunately we could not hold it last year and only had an online event this year. I hope it’s reinstated when things get better.
I’m so busy with college work it would have been difficult to make the time but I love doing this. It makes me feel part of a community. I also miss all the friends I have through being part of it. X
I’m doing a painting on line, live, next week. I offered to do it for our mystery plays virtual performance next week. Its only going to have a small audience because we can’t have a big group on zoom. I’ve been watching Bob Ross programmes and I’ve always done paintings quickly but I think I’ve bit off more than I can chew!
Anyway I’m going to have just over an hour to get this finished, and better still they want me to start from scratch and if it’s OK they will raffle it off… Wish me luck!
I couldn’t take photos myself of the mystery play as I was busy setting up, then performing and finally taking down the show. These photos are courtesy of my friends Lorraine and Dean.
We started at 9am and finished around 6pm. You have to take props down to the green from the village hall. The volunteers then built three scaffolding towers to hang my backdrops off and to attach the wheel that had been made. Also to rest props on. Then the stools and tables had to come over. The chairs for the audience and choir and seating for fifty children from the drama school. In addition there were 18 stalls for crafts and food, gazebos for the various volunteers and changing room. A pa system, other things I can’t remember, and the roads had to be closed with barriers. After the play there were other performances including the titchy theatre. By the time we had taken everything down afterwards it was 6pm and everyone was exhausted, hence going out for a Thai meal rather than cooking. I’m shattered.
Just busy at the moment. I’m painting some of the scenery for our local mystery play next Saturday. The theme is the Tittensor Evictions by the Duke of Sutherland, and including two wars and the suffragette movement all in twenty minutes.
The scenery is based on a painting by Corot. I think it’s a landscape in the south of France. I’ve added a thatched cottage and there will be figures in the foreground. This is half of the panel (or flat as they call it in the theatre) its 8ft by 4ft. There will be another panel of the same size attached above it which of sky. I’m also going to add the hall where the Duke lived to this panel.
I’m painting with acrylics and emulsion on hard board. This took me about two hours to paint. I also have a sign to do…. so I will be very busy again!
The Mystery play has been happening for over 10 years now at Penkhull. It started out being purely religious but has taken on different themes over recent years, including one about the river Trent. Apparently it’s the largest community arts event in Stoke-on-Trent and there were 400 people participating in putting it on last year.