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Block Printing with Molly Mahon 15 October 2019 Learn the art of block printing with Molly Mahon

Molly will share her love of pattern and colour with you here at Charleston. Using a selection of carefully curated, Bloomsbury inspired blocks, come and enjoy a day with her, designing and printing a metre of natural linen cloth to takeaway with you.

Your visit will also include a tour of the house, a delicious homemade lunch and refreshments.

Find out more Book now
Painted Furniture 8 October 2019 Painted furniture with Melissa White

Take inspiration from the painted interiors at Charleston. Learn the various paint effects and antiquing techniques that can be used to recreate that distinctive look. Transform your final pieces with glazes and waxes to create heirlooms of the future.

Participants should bring their own small items to work on, for example stools, boxes or lamp stands. You must be able to comfortably carry the piece, and it must be able to fit on a 60cm square work space.

The piece needs to be clean, free of loose paint, unvarnished/un-waxed/un-lacquered.

About the tutor: Melissa White

From my studio in Hastings on the Sussex coast of England I design and hand paint surface pattern for interiors. Working largely to commission I create bespoke pieces for domestic, commercial and heritage interiors. 

I came to the world of decorative interiors from an unconventional direction, specialising in reproducing Elizabethan wall paintings and painted cloths in the tradition of the craftsmen known as "painter stainers". I’ve remained intrigued by this beguiling genre researching and reproducing rare designs for museums and historic houses whilst also adapting them for modern tastes. 

At the same time my inherent love of surface pattern has drawn me towards diverse and ever-changing influences for my designs. My open-minded and inquisitive approach to decoration makes for fruitful collaborations whilst ensuring the artwork carries my distinctive signature. 

This signature style is imbued with a historic, artisanal and painterly feel that has its roots in the wall paintings of old. My paintwork is often finished with ageing and distressing to distance it from the new and the mass produced, adding what I think of as "The patination of time"

www.melissawhite.co.uk

Find out more Book now
Music & Word: Intimate Letters - 15 September 2019 "You stand behind every note, you, living, forceful, loving.”   Juliet Stevenson / Škampa Quartet / Melvyn Tan   ...

"You stand behind every note, you, living, forceful, loving.”

 

Juliet Stevenson / Škampa Quartet / Melvyn Tan

 

Janacek         String quartet “Intimate Letters” (1928)

Korngold      Piano Quintet (1921)

 

Leos Janacek’s quartet was inspired by the Czech composer’s decades-long spiritual relationship with Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 38 years his junior who inspired most of his late works. It portrays the passionate yet unrequited nature of his relationship with Kamila, to whom he wrote over 700 letters.

In the second of our Music & Word series, Melvyn Tan will perform alongside the Škampa Quartet and actor Juliet Stephenson: music and letters are interwoven, each one illuminating the other.

 

Melvyn Tan

Melvyn Tan established his international reputation with pioneering performances on the fortepiano and continues to cast fresh light on music conceived for the piano’s early and modern forms. Acclaimed for the wit and poetry of his playing, he has applied lessons learned from pianos of the past to conjure subtle new colours, fine details of articulation and delicate shadings from the modern concert instrument.

The Škampa Quartet

The Škampa Quartet come to Charleston directly from their performance at the Wigmore Hall. The Quartet are often considered to be the finest interpreters of Janacek playing today, and their recordings of his music are often considered to be the gold standard.

Their innate understanding of the rhythms of their native Czech folk music informs their playing, and their five star performances are powerful and profoundly uplifting.

Juliet Stevenson

Although acclaimed for her television and film work, Juliet is also considered one of our finest stage actors, with roles at The RSC, the National Theatre and the West End. The hallmarks of her performances are honesty, intensity and emotional truth. Juliet returns to Charleston for the first time in five years, and this will be her first performance in the newly restored Hay Barn.

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Life Writing at Charleston | 16 Sep - 18 Nov The Bloomsbury group’s pioneering exploration of new ways to live and to express themselves went beyond art and fiction into what Virginia Woolf called ‘The New...

The Bloomsbury group’s pioneering exploration of new ways to live and to express themselves went beyond art and fiction into what Virginia Woolf called ‘The New Biography’. It was the start of memoir as we know it today: the extraordinary lives of ordinary people, full of life, voice, anecdote and personality, balancing, as Woolf described, the ‘granite’ of truth with the ‘rainbow’ of imagination.  

Join us for our new 10-week Life Writing course, where writers of all levels and backgrounds will be guided through the process of bringing real stories and experiences to life on the page by experienced tutors. You will be guided through a series of exercises, activities and prompts to explore all the different themes of life writing and start to build your story. Sessions will cover ideas around home, place, family, food, childhood, conflict, dialogue and voice. We will also touch on elements of the craft of writing such as structure, plot and point of view.  

A fun and engaging approach will make use of different prompt objects, photographs, music and sounds, as well as ‘a sensory buffet’ with different smells and tastes to trigger memories and recollections. We will look at some extracts from Bloomsbury texts, biographies and diaries. Students will also be given access to the house and gardens for inspiration. There will be opportunities to share your work with the group if you wish (but not compulsory) and each student will receive a 1-1 tutorial at the end of the course to discuss how to develop their work.

Suitable for writers of all levels and backgrounds. 

 

Find out more Book now
My Life in Colour - 21st September 2019 MY LIFE IN COLOUR CRESSIDA BELL talks to her sister, Virginia Nicholson, about Charleston, her design work and curating ‘In Colour’.   Vanessa Bell...

MY LIFE IN COLOUR

CRESSIDA BELL talks to her sister, Virginia Nicholson, about Charleston, her design work and curating ‘In Colour’.

 

Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf agreed while they were in the nursery that one would be the artist while the other would be the writer. Their direct descendants, sisters Cressida Bell and Virginia Nicholson, divided their roles down the same creative lines. Here is a chance to eavesdrop on an illustrated conversation, as they reminisce about their Charleston childhood, Charleston’s acclaimed exhibition, ‘In Colour’ - curated by Cressida - and life as a top textile and interiors designer.  Expect memories, intimacy and influences from two exceptionally creative Charleston insiders.

 

Cressida Bell is a British designer specialising in textiles and interiors. Cressida studied in the Fashion department of St Martin’s School of Art during its 1980s heyday; after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1984 she set up her company, CRESSIDA BELL. Today, from her London studio, she produces artefacts for the home, accessories for men and women, and many bespoke items, from stationery and illustration to murals, carpets and furnishing fabrics. Her work is known for its uncompromising decorative qualities and original palette, and - while acknowledging the influence of her celebrated Bloomsbury Group forebears (Quentin Bell was her father and Vanessa Bell her grandmother) - over the last thirty-five years Cressida has forged her own highly individual style.

 

Virginia Nicholson is President of the Charleston Trust. She is a writer and the elder daughter of Quentin and Anne Olivier Bell, who has chronicled the family in Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden. Her books also include the recently published How Was It For You? Women, Sex, Love and Power in the 1960sAmong the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939; Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War; Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives in War and Peace 1939-1949 and Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s.

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Life Writing at Charleston | 20 Sep - 22 Nov The Bloomsbury group’s pioneering exploration of new ways to live and to express themselves went beyond art and fiction into what Virginia Woolf called ‘The New...

The Bloomsbury group’s pioneering exploration of new ways to live and to express themselves went beyond art and fiction into what Virginia Woolf called ‘The New Biography’. It was the start of memoir as we know it today: the extraordinary lives of ordinary people, full of life, voice, anecdote and personality, balancing, as Woolf described, the ‘granite’ of truth with the ‘rainbow’ of imagination.  

Join us for our new 10-week Life Writing course, where writers of all levels and backgrounds will be guided through the process of bringing real stories and experiences to life on the page by experienced tutors. You will be guided through a series of exercises, activities and prompts to explore all the different themes of life writing and start to build your story. Sessions will cover ideas around home, place, family, food, childhood, conflict, dialogue and voice. We will also touch on elements of the craft of writing such as structure, plot and point of view.  

A fun and engaging approach will make use of different prompt objects, photographs, music and sounds, as well as ‘a sensory buffet’ with different smells and tastes to trigger memories and recollections. We will look at some extracts from Bloomsbury texts, biographies and diaries. Students will also be given access to the house and gardens for inspiration. There will be opportunities to share your work with the group if you wish (but not compulsory) and each student will receive a 1-1 tutorial at the end of the course to discuss how to develop their work.

Suitable for writers of all levels and backgrounds. 

Find out more Book now
Sunday Reading Group - 8 September Bloomsbury at Home What kind of places did different Bloombury Group members call home? What did ‘home’ mean and how did their ambitions for a new way of living...

Bloomsbury at Home

What kind of places did different Bloombury Group members call home? What did ‘home’ mean and how did their ambitions for a new way of living influence that? How did they live? What did everyday domestic life look like? Join us for our October Reading Group, where we peer through the keyholes of various Bloomsbury Group homes – from the Stephens’ family home at Hyde Park Gate, to the London homes dotted around Bloomsbury squares, and of course their country residences. We will read extracts from the ‘newspapers’ created by both the Stephens children and later the Bell children, that illuminate the child’s experience of a Bloomsbury home, and also watch some short clips of life at Ham Spray House. We will also look at how Woolf presented domestic environments in her novels. There will be a special focus on three homes in particular: Ham Spray (the home of Carrington, Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge), Lady Ottoline’s Garsington Manor (‘Britain’s most scandalous wartime retreat’), and of course, Charleston.

Bloomsbury at Home
What kind of places did different Bloombury Group members call home? What did ‘home’ mean and how did their ambitions for a new way of living influence that? How did they live? What did everyday domestic life look like? Join us for our October Reading Group, where we peer through the keyholes of various Bloomsbury Group homes – from the Stephens’ family home at Hyde Park Gate, to the London homes dotted around Bloomsbury squares, and of course their country residences. We will read extracts from the ‘newspapers’ created by both the Stephens children and later the Bell children, that illuminate the child’s experience of a Bloomsbury home, and also watch some short clips of life at Ham Spray House. We will also look at how Woolf presented domestic environments in her novels. There will be a special focus on three homes in particular: Ham Spray (the home of Carrington, Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge), Lady Ottoline’s Garsington Manor (‘Britain’s most scandalous wartime retreat’), and of course, Charleston.

Find out more Book now
Sunday Reading Group - 6 October Behind the Scenes at the Omega Workshops As a new exhibition arrives at Charleston showcasing the art and design of the Omega Workshops, our Reading Group will explore the ideas...

Behind the Scenes at the Omega Workshops
As a new exhibition arrives at Charleston showcasing the art and design of the Omega Workshops, our Reading Group will explore the ideas and influences, collaborations, commissions and conflicts that went on behind the (painted) scenes at 33 Fitzroy Square. Learn more about Roger Fry, as we read from his own books on art and aesthetics, his letters to the Group, and from Virginia Woolf’s affectionate biography of her friend. We will discover the role Omega played in developing the bonds and ambitions of the Bloomsbury Group, the partnership with the Ballets Russes, Vanessa’s directorship and design, and some of the key events and stories from the six years of the Workshops.

 

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Sunday Reading Group - 3 November The Cave of the Golden Calf In 1912, a secret avant-garde venue opened up in a draper’s basement in central London called The Cave of the Golden Calf. Arguably the first...

The Cave of the Golden Calf
In 1912, a secret avant-garde venue opened up in a draper’s basement in central London called The Cave of the Golden Calf. Arguably the first gay club, and also the first blueprint of any kind of nightclub in London, the wildly hedonistic spot took its name from the Bible story about an icon of impermissable worship. It was seen as a ‘new and devilish place’, where Futurists and Modernists cavorted with artists, writers, dancers, performers and members of London’s social elites. Its Ballets Russes aesthetic was designed by Spencer Gore, Jacob Epstein and the Vorticist Wyndham Lewis, partly under the auspices of the Omega Workshops. Eric Gill did the logo, and it became the place to be for key figures of the time including Katherine Mansfield, Augustus John and Ford Maddox Ford, who became known as The ‘Troglodytes’, or ‘Cave-dwellers’. This Reading Group will enter ‘The Cave’ from the perspective of its overlap with the Omega Workshops and also the Bloomsbury Group, whose peripheral members were enthusiastic ‘Troglodytes’, and springboard us into wider discussions about the influence of Vorticism and Futurism on the developing ideals of the Bloomsbury Group at the time. We will look at surviving images of designs for the club, the letters and newspaper reports of its pioneering bacchanalia, and its position in the wider landscape of social spaces created and frequented by the Bloomsbury Group.

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Sunday Reading Group - 1 December The Bonds of Bloomsbury: Friendship, Connection, Conflict and Collaboration Join us for our lively and informal Reading Group as we unravel the personal and professional bonds...

The Bonds of Bloomsbury: Friendship, Connection, Conflict and Collaboration
Join us for our lively and informal Reading Group as we unravel the personal and professional bonds that held the Bloomsbury Group together. As we place ideas of friendship and kinship at the heart of the success of the Group, we ask: what did friendship mean to them? How did their pursuit of new ways to live challenge or change their understanding of friendship? How did their relationships fuel their work and professional development? We will explore the spaces they created to allow connection and friendship to flourish, in the form of their various clubs, events and societies, from the Thursday evenings where the Group began to the intellectual intimacy of the Memoir Club.

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Block printing with Molly Mahon 26 November 2019 Learn the art of block printing with Molly Mahon

Learn the art of block printing with Molly Mahon.

Drawing on inspiration from the beautiful surrounding countryside and Charleston itself, Molly has curated a selection of wooden blocks for you to print with and a warm, jewel like colour palette, perfect for the approaching festivities.  Enjoy the day designing and printing your own set of four oatmeal linen napkins and take away the skills to continue printing at your kitchen table.  

Your visit will include a tour of the house, a delicious homemade lunch and refreshments.

 

Find out more Book now
Painted Lampshades 18 November 2019 Painted Lampshades

About the day:

Immerse yourself in all things Bloomsbury with our day long painted lampshades workshop with decorative specialist Tess Newall.

Participants will be given their own wove card lampshade to paint and take home, adding a piece of art to their house in the nature of the Bloomsbury group.

They will draw inspiration from the shapes and patterns of the Omega Workshops, painted pieces within the house, and natural forms in the garden.

The day includes a private tour of the House for inspiration and entrance to 'Post-Impressionist Living: The Omega Workshops'.

All materials are includes, as well as a delicious lunch.

About the tutor:

Tess is a set designer and decorative painter for films and interiors. She art directed the recent film Vita & Virginia, re-creating Charleston for the filmset in rural Ireland. Working from her garden studio in East Sussex, she paints pieces of furniture for interior designers and has launched a range of Bloomsbury inspired lampshades under Papyra Lampshades.

Find out more Book now
Painted Trays 6 December 2019 Painted Trays

About the day:

Spend the day with decorative specialist Melissa White, designing and painting an Omega Workshops inspired painted tray. You will begin the day with a private tour of the House, and the Omega Workshops exhibition for inspiration, and then design and paint your own tray. 

You will learn various paint effects and antiquing techniques that can be used to recreate that distinctive look, as well as how to transform your final piece with glazes and waxes.

You will leave with something both beautiful and useful, for your home or an unique gift for someone special.

The day also includes all materials and a delicious lunch.

About the tutor: Melissa White

From my studio in Hastings on the Sussex coast of England, I design and hand paint surface pattern for interiors. Working largely to commission I create bespoke pieces for domestic, commercial and heritage interiors.

I came to the world of decorative interiors from an unconventional direction, specialising in reproducing Elizabethan wall paintings and painted cloths in the tradition of the craftsmen known as “painter stainers”. I’ve remained intrigued by this beguiling genre researching and reproducing rare designs for museums and historic houses whilst also adapting them for modern tastes.

At the same time my inherent love of surface pattern has drawn me towards diverse and ever-changing influences for my designs. My open-minded and inquisitive approach to decoration makes for fruitful collaborations whilst ensuring the artwork carries my distinctive signature.

This signature style is imbued with a historic, artisanal and painterly feel that has its roots in the wall paintings of old. My paintwork is often finished with ageing and distressing to distance it from the new and the mass produced, adding what I think of as “The patination of time”.

www.melissawhite.co.uk

 

Find out more Book now
Woodcut Christmas Cards 19 November 2019 Artist Helen Brown will guide you through the process of woodcut printmaking, from design to carving, inking to printing.  Using this most beautiful and immediate of art...

Artist Helen Brown will guide you through the process of woodcut printmaking, from design to carving, inking to printing.  Using this most beautiful and immediate of art forms, participants will come away with their own set of hand-printed cards and paper.  

Suitable for all levels.

The cost of the day includes a delicious lunch, refreshments and all materials.

About the tutor: Helen Brown

"I draw directly from the landscape onto wooden blocks, I then carve into the blocks and print from them. All of my work is handmade and each one of my pieces is given individual life though chine colle (paper overlay) and hand tinting, just as the mood of a scene shifts with light, time and experience.

I spend time in the places my work depicts, returning to them. My prints are imbued with the emotion of place. Working outdoors enables me to connect with the spirit of the place, capturing the line and fluidity of scenes and localities."

Find out more Book now
Omega Woodcuts 3 December 2019 Woodcut printmaking was a form that both Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant explored to create striking and beautiful works of art. Learn the processes of woodcut printmaking, with...

Woodcut printmaking was a form that both Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant explored to create striking and beautiful works of art.

Learn the processes of woodcut printmaking, with tutor Helen Brown, from design to carving, inking to printing.

Using this most beautiful and immediate of art forms, participants will create a series of their own exciting and ambitious original prints inspired by the House and Garden.

The day includes a tour of the House, with time allowed for sketching. The rest of the day will be spent realising your designs in print.

The cost of the day includes a tour of the House and Garden, an artisan lunch, tea and coffees, and all tools and materials. Suitable for all levels.

About the tutor

“I draw directly from the landscape onto wooden blocks, I then carve into the blocks and print from them. All of my work is handmade and each one of my pieces is given individual life though chine colle (paper overlay) and hand tinting, just as the mood of a scene shifts with light, time and experience.

I spend time in the places my work depicts, returning to them. My prints are imbued with the emotion of place. Working outdoors enables me to connect with the spirit of the place, capturing the line and fluidity of scenes and localities.”

Find out more Book now
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