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.
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.
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.
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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
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”.
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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
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