Today

Belly dancers at the Heritage weekend at Newcastle-under-Lyme today. This was after the Mock mayor ceremony which went really well considering I was wearing a large white wig and it has the effect of turning me into some sort of old English sheepdog! I delivered my speech on the steps of Newcastle-under-Lymes’ Butter Cross, which is outside the Guildhall. After we had done the performance we walked around the Lancaster building on the other side of the cross. We had to process and I started saying Good Afternoon in a posh voice to everyone to keep up the character of the Mayor. Returning to the Butter Cross we had photos taken with the real mayor. They might follow if they are not too embarrassing.

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Mock Mayor

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In Victorian times Newcastle-under-Lyme was a rotten Borough. The citizens of the town decided to choose their own Mock Mayor and Mayoress. There is a famous painting in the Brampton museum and art gallery depicting the scene. A man stands on the market cross steps with a wooden staff and a horse tail switch. His wife is falling off a donkey. Mace bearers with cabbages on sticks are in his retinue. The town crier and other mock officials officiate.

So me and my hubby were asked to join in and have ended up being chosen to play the mayor and mayoress parts. Then we found out the mayoress was played by a man! So I had to find a dress to fit him. The thing is he suffers badly from anxiety so he took a lot of persuading. The thing in its favour is that he enjoys acting. It takes his mind off the anxiety. It’s because he’s laying a character. It’s hard to explain. If he is just being himself his anxiety is through the roof. But as long as things go OK when he’s acting he’s OK. If I am not there he can’t do things… Anyway that’s just how things are.

The Ceremony recreation is on Saturday. I’m hoping I don’t fall off the steps, fluff my lines, forget where to stand, plus support hubby…… Eek!

Orme Art exhibition..

I got my paintings up at the Brampton museum and art gallery now until the 10th November. I’m part of a group exhibition with fellow artists from the Orme Art group based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

I’m quite happy that they have hung my Mars painting upside down! After all in space there is no right way up! The art is along a corridor in the museum but they are well displayed and lit. If you are around you can always take a look. It’s at the Brampton museum and art gallery in Newcastle-under-Lyme .

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Solo exhibition

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My latest exhibition is coming up next week. The opening is on 13.9.19 at 6.30pm. There will be wine and snacks (thats what you do at openings).

The Waiting room gallery is at Longport in Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a new gallery and art centre who are also working on Longport railway station and who are trying to restore the historic buildings there. You couldn’t meet a nicer group of people.

I’m very pleased to invite anyone who can come along to see the exhibition.

If you can’t make it I’ve also got paintings exhibited at the Brampton museum in Newcastle-under-Lyme from this weekend to the 10th of November and a painting at Acava Open Studios at Spode Site this weekend. The opening of the Spode show is on Saturday evening. So it’s busy busy busy!

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Almost a Sacred Duty.

We went to see a production of Almost a Sacred Duty tonight. A play and presentation at the New Vic theatre. The start was a brief history of what had happened in 1918 by a local historian. This was followed by a play with people from the present and three characters from one hundred years ago. It was about the Minnie pit disaster in 1918, the 18 months it took to find the 156 bodies of men and boys working in the mine who died in the disaster and about 80 miners who survived.

The inquest was held in 1919 after the last body was found. After the hearing, which took weeks, the conclusion was that dust in the mine had contributed to the explosion although nobody was found accountable.

The people acting were playing present day residents who were commemorating the disaster and also played people from 1919 who were at the inquest. The whole thing was only about 45 minutes long but it was really good.

Jim Worgan is a mining historian who gave a short presentation.

Sue Moffat wrote the play and it was directed by Anna Poole. There were three professional actors plus a community cast and the play was supported by the Minnie pit centenary commemoration group, the heritage fund, and New Vic borderlines.

The play used information from William Cooke, a local historian and writer who had given permission to use his book ‘The Minnie pit : Disaster and Controversy”.

Orme Art group and Spode studios Open Days.

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This is what I’m working towards at the moment. I’m really looking forward to it. We will have some space on a wall in the Brampton museum and art gallery. I’ve got a tryptich of Jupiter ready and I’m doing a painting of Mars. Then on the 7th and 8th of September I’ve got a painting at Spode during our Open Studios weekend.

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I will also be exhibiting art at The Orme Group Christmas Exhibition, dates and details to follow. Today I’ve also had confirmation that I can put more paintings in an exhibition at the Brampton in November to December for Christmas. I’m just waiting for a poster for that. All I need now is to see if people like them and get some commissions.

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