Over the past three months I have been working with my mum on a residency at Gyllyngdune Gardens. Gyllyngdune has a rich and fascinating history, it was once owned by Frederick Horniman: tea heir, MP for Falmouth, father of Annie Horniman and collector of interesting artefacts. He is perhaps most well known for founding the Horniman Collection in London. He bought Gyllyngdune at the end of the 19th century, saving it after several decades in disrepair and gifted it to the council who have run it since.
Prior to Horniman's ownership it was in the hands of a very bonkers vicar who was responsible for much of the garden's amazing layout and foliage, and a tiny unconsecrated chapel that looks out to sea. His daughters are rumoured to have made the shell grotto and shell seats located in and above the quarry garden. After years crumbling away the shell seats were restored a few years ago. They are situated in the most magical spot, overlooking the quarry garden filled with ferns with a view right out to the sea. It is the most spectacular vista on a sunny day. As soon as I stumbled on these grottos I knew I wanted to snap some pictures in them and the residency has been the perfect opportunity to do just that! The gardens as a space are wonderfully theatrical, there are so many performative spaces including a pavilion, the grottos, the quarry and a rose garden which rather resembles an Edwardian promenade.
I hand painted a shell encrusted ensemble, very much in the style of the flamboyant Annie Horniman, who was renowned for her eccentric style and her liaisons with the theatre I wanted to capture the theatrical nature of the gardens and Annie because although Annie never visited I like to think if she had she would have enjoyed posing and lounging in the garden.
You may remember my tea reader post last year celebrating all things tea and the tea festival at Gyllyngdune Gardens. The tea festival is a yearly event and takes place this year on the 20th September. My mum and I will have an exhibition in the foyer of our work from the residency and we will be holding a workshop from 11-5 creating dresses, turbans and accessories from tea bag material. We will then invite select participants to don the tea bag ensembles and take part in various Tableau Vivant throughout the garden. The ensembles will be very much in the style of Annie Horniman's costumes, with heavy hints of Paul Poiret (he was after all the master of the early fashion parade) and early 19th century theatre costumes.
|Fashion parade through garden, Paul Poiret|
I hope you all are enjoying the burst of sunshine, I certainly am! If you are in Falmouth on the 20th do pop in to our workshop and say hello.
In other news you can read about an average 24 hours in my on Old Tat Magazine's blog.
Embroidered net top - Miss Selfridge
Sequinned shift dress - Topshop
Headdress - Penny MacBeth
Embroidered necklace - Penny MacBeth
Turquoise jelly shoes - JuJu Jellies
Shell t-shirt - hand painted by me
Shell Christmas ornaments (worn in hair) - charity shop
Tights - hand painted by me
Scallop shell necklace - charity shop
Sequinned hot pants - Topshop