On getting the train to St Pancras from Brighton, I noticed this little welcome en route for my journey back home. How interesting, a variation on the “Let Glasgow Flourish” I am used to seeing, and an unexpected piece of the far North in the South East!
From when I first woke up in Brighton (and all bank holiday long) I have been treated to a wonderfully sunny day, with a beautiful blue azure sea and the occasional group of white yachts sailing on the horizon. Fantastic art territory! I can see why artists are attracted to this city. Photographs almost do not do it justice, it actually reminded me of the sea in the Outer Hebrides, as it was so deep turquoise in parts.
When I booked this journey away I did not notice that it was bank holiday time (and also English half term) so perhaps I am getting a little of that “totally full beach with barely a pebble to see” Victorian holiday experience, as is shown in this Photo History of Sussex website! To add to the bustling atmosphere, it has been the last few days of the Brighton Festival and also the last week of the Brighton Fringe… the Lanes and North Laine are full of entertainment and Fringe City is a feast of entertainment.
The reason I am in Brighton is part of my Art Project “Are You Here”, to retrace the steps of my ancestors Marmaduke and Stella Langdale; artists who were born in Middlesex but stayed in Brighton for a number of years. In researching census and other archival information, I discovered that Stella went to Brighton School of Art, and then Glasgow School of Art whilst Marmaduke was a Turner travel prize winner. Stella’s work can be seen in the Maltwood Art Gallery in Canada, although I am also retracing some of the views in illustrations which she did for a book called “Unknown Brighton”, detailed online here. I found the Black Lion yesterday, but it is now adorned with a little gold as well!
I am happy to say that yesterday I saw balloons in Bristol, for I have always wanted to see them since I picked up a postcard years ago of the Clifton Suspension Bridge at the time of the balloon festival. One blog which I follow (Picturing England) had a recent post about this very subject, so now I share my own pictures in delight. The seagulls seemed to be soaring with them, the early evening light was wonderful.
I am in Bristol to do some research and artworks as part of my current project (which finishes with an exhibition at Gladstone’s Land, Edinburgh on the Royal Mile from 2nd to 7th of July, do come along!). The project is called “Are You Here” and is a genealogical journey exploring family history, identity and place through illustration and digital media. I have discovered in family tree research which my mum and dad and I have been doing for a number of years that we had 19th century relatives from Bristol on one branch, and early 20th century relatives, two of whom were artists, in Brighton on another branch. Castle Park is now sited on what used to be the area where my family once lived.