Despite the windy conditions last Friday, Wilmington proved to be a popular venue. Apart from the 'Long Man' himself this location holds plenty of inspiration as can be seen by Anne Benson's photos'. It seems the 1000 year old tree was the most popular subject, or was that because you would have risked being blown away if you had tackled 'The Man' (Loraine Hopley was the only one brave enough among us to attempt this feat!). Jeremy
Friday 15th August — visit to theTowner
The objective/thinking for our trip was first to take a look at the Peggy Angus Exhibition after which those who were game, could go on the sea front to paint/draw. What a wonderful idea! There was however an oversight, we had chosen 'Airbourne' week as the date for our visit (a lesson to be learned here I think). Parking anywhere was bound to be a trial and the seafront would be packed. Despite this, we had a good turn out from our intrepid members, several came by bus (good thinking).
The exhibition is well worth a visit. Peggy Angus is relatively unknown. She lived in a time when a generation of artists were overlooked from the 60s on. Tastes took a shift and many artists just became lost in a tide of rock and roll and hippy subculture. These artists are only now coming back into fashion and I think this exhibition celebrates this in a simple unpretentious display.
As a woman, making progress in the design world at that time was tough. For instance, In 1958, Peggy Angus designed a 50ft-long futuristic tile mural for the British section of the Brussels World Fair. She was not even invited to the opening and had to travel to Belgium to see it finished at her own cost!
A tendency to be rude
Perhaps her major achievement was that she pioneered coloured tiles, murals and wallpapers. What couldn’t have helped her progress commercially is that she a had a tendency to be rude to people “absolutely foul”. Also, quite a bit of Peggy’s work was done for private clients, which meant much of her work was never really credited to her.
A good part of her life was spent in a sublet and remote flint house in West Firle called Furlongs at an annual rent £10 (which is still there and relatively unchanged, see my photo). Peggy taught at Eastbourne in the early 30s and made friends with Eric Ravilious who together with his wife spent many holidays at her home painting the Downs and Asham Cement works (now known as Beddingham Landfill Site).
Useful Links — read more about Peggy Angus
Our member Jane Gaylor has been involved this summer in a project to help improve a communal garden space for 'Seaford House' in Seaford. Jane has created this on a very limited budget using household paints etc all begged and borrowed. The project is not finished yet and involves input from the residents themselves.
I went to take the pictures on a rather fresh but sunny day and it was very apparent how bright and cheerful the space looked. Jane had never attempted anything like this before and found it a real challenge with not only the logistics of actually applying the paint, but also taking on board and making allowances for the residents' own opinions on design and content.
Jane commented, "The main problem with painting a fence like this is the edges of the fence. It makes it very difficult to see what you are doing when you are close up to it".
Looking forward to seeing it finished... Jeremy