Capability Brown 1716 to 2016- Tercentenary
Embroiderers’ Guild and National Trust have teamed up to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of the landscape architect, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
EG branches have been teamed up with NT properties with elements of their Capability Brown landscape still intact, to provide work for an exhibition from March to October next year. Activity days and YE involvement will also be organised at the venues.
The aim is to develop a long term relationship with the allocated property in the future.
A number of members have expressed a keen interest in making work for the exhibition.
Leamington, Birmingham, Solihull and Tamworth branches are twinned with Charlecote Park near Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire. Leamington is lead branch because it is nearest to the venue geographically.
Other branches in the region have been teamed up with Chirk Castle in Wales, Croome Court and Weston Park.
There are better CB landscapes, but as the partnership is with NT, it is properties that they look after, which have been picked.
At a meeting at Charlecote Park on 14th July, representatives of Birmingham, Leamington and Solihull branches met with Julie Griffiths from NT at Charlecote. As I had only received a contact point for Tamworth branch until the night before, they were not present.
We established that work should be primarily based on the CB elements of the landscape. At Charlecote these are:
Bends in River Dene (viewed from tarmac drive accessed through the arch by the stables.
Widened River Avon
Sinking the ha-ha around the meadow, to make a sufficient fence against the deer
The gardens on the north front of the house- a raised lawn planted with Cedars of Lebanon
Various vistas out into the countryside.
It is said that a Capability Brown landscape is what we think of as the English landscape.
There is a portrait of George Lucy, who commissioned Capability Brown, in the house. This could be an inspiration. He also introduced Jacob sheep to Charlecote.
There is also a painting in the house that shows the cascade.
Charlecote house is a Tudor House with 19th C elements. Obviously, CB provided features for the landscape which were sympathetic to the house.
The lawn and the cedars are outside the Orangery where the exhibition will be. It is a busy café.
Some of the best work from each venue nationwide will be part of exhibitions at The Knitting and Stitching Show and other venues.
To provide some cohesion to the work, pieces will be mounted on A2, A3 and A4 artists’ canvases. The backgrounds will be painted in sympathy with the walls where they are to be hung ( the walls in The Orangery are duck egg blue).
The space will hang around 25 pieces. The hanging system is at present quite primitive ( black metal rods and chains) but the venue may have invested in a new, less intrusive, system by the time we exhibit.
At the meeting on 14th July we decided it was impractical for the branches to produce work together. Leamington has more than 50 members and Solihull has 85. Tamworth have 18 and Birmingham has 45.
Each big branch will produce work to hang for 2 months or so. Julie at NT will draw names out of a hat to decide who has what slot. Tamworth will have pieces hung among the exhibitions of the larger branches, but the branch committee has asked for the slot at the end of the period because we are organising for the regional day in June.
We will look at arranging a group outing to Charlecote Park. Meanwhile, members who are not in the National Trust can get into Charlecote free until the end of 2015 by showing their Embroiderers' Guild membership card. This saves £10.05.
www.capabilitybrown.org is the website for the Capability Brown 300 events.