Monday, 21 May 2012

Shandy Hall trip and Thanks

On Friday we held the final Spaces in Theory meeting at Shandy Hall. We began with a tour of the house kindly led by the engaging and knowledgeable Patrick Wildgust, taking in the house's recently discovered sixteenth century wall paintings, the famous bust of Sterne produced by Joseph Nollekens, and Sterne's souvenir china cow (!) Patrick then led us into a discussion of the relationship between Sterne and Elizabeth Draper, the subject of Shandy Hall's current exhibition.

The exhibition puts Sterne and Draper's relationship into context, featuring Sterne's letters and Eliza's forged replies, reproductions of the gifts that passed between the two and artistic responses to their relationship and separation. In addition it introduces the art of eighteenth-century letter writing.

After enjoying the exhibition we then had the privilege of visiting the bedroom created for, but never used by, Eliza. An eerie and emotional space, the room features an installation by Carolyn Thompson which explores the truths and fictions surrounding Sterne and Draper's relationship."Folie a Deux" is an elaborate coverlet created using eighteenth-century techniques and embroidered with copies of Sterne's letters.

There is still time to catch this wonderful exhibition which runs until June 29th.

Finally, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped with and participated in the reading group over the last year; we've had a fantastic time.

- Laurie and Helen.

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