Artist in Residence

I am thrilled to announce that I have been appointed Artist in Residence at Lyveden a magical property owned by The National Trust. The residency is titled “A SENSE OF COLOUR”. It runs until the end of June 2014.

For those who know me and my work, colour is my thing. I adore colour in my life as it give a brightness and power that brings me to life. I am so excited to have this fabulous opportunity to focus on this amazing property and bring a different dimension to the valuable work that the National Trust do.

Lyveden is an intriguing unfinished Elizabethan lodge with a moated garden and grounds. I always stop on the approach to the property to admire the view and watch the red kites soaring above and below the road level. The painting shown is this amazing view where the colours change on a seasonal basis. I love seeing red kites as in my professional wildlife conservation life, I was involved with their re-introduction locally too many years ago to think about. They are magnificent birds and seeing them at Lyveden is like bring history back to life.

The following extract gives a brief history of Lyveden and is taken from The National Trust website.

“Set in the heart of rural Northamptonshire, Lyveden is a remarkable survivor of the Elizabethan age.

It was begun by Sir Thomas Tresham to symbolise his Catholic faith, and remains incomplete and virtually unaltered since work stopped on his death in 1605.

Thomas Tresham was born into a wealthy and respected Northamptonshire family. The family acquired large estates in Northamptonshire including the manor houses of Rushton and Lyveden. Sir Thomas inherited the estate from his grandfather in 1559, aged only 15.

Sir Thomas was a fervent Catholic, at a time when Queen Elizabeth was anxious about the Catholic threat posed by Spain and by her cousin Mary Queen of Scots. Non conformists were targets for perpetual persecution.

Between 1581 and 1605, Tresham was required to pay penalties totalling just under £8,000 because of his faith. He was left with considerable debts, from which his finances never fully recovered.

After Sir Thomas died in 1605, his elder son Francis inherited the estate as well as the debt, and then became embroiled in the GGunpowder Plot later that year along with his cousins Catesby and Wintour. Imprisoned for his actions he met an early death in December 1605.

While the estate now passed to Francis’s younger brother Lewis, Lady Tresham shouldered the debt. She managed the debt admirably, leaving only an outstanding £1,000 upon her death in 1615.

Lewis’s reckless lifestyle only increased the family debt, and Lyveden was to pass out of the family’s hands. Sir Thomas’s dream was never to be fulfilled and the New Bield remained as it stands today, incomplete.”

I am fascinated by the family connection to the Gunpowder plot and I am sure this will feature in at least one of the pieces of work that I will produce during the next few months. I also am very inspired by the landscape surrounding the property as well as the emotions of visitors as they enjoy this atmospheric place.

There will be various events planned including an exhibition of my work in May and June, puddings and paintings-evenings where you can eat puddings and meet me as I talk about my inspiration and the work I have produced and also painting on site. Please keep an eye here and on The trusts website for details in the new year. Lyveden New Bield.

Thank you to the staff of The National Trust at Lyveden for this opportunity. I am incredibly excited to be working with you and all the volunteers and visitors to Lyveden over the next few months. I hope that I will do you proud!

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