Category Archives: Art

Thursday Morning Art

“Oh, I wish I could draw …”  I look at other people’s art, see they get so much pleasure out of doing it and I envy that.  My efforts are feeble.  Ah, but help is at hand at St Mark’s on a Thursday morning.  Dave and Helena, both brilliant artists in their own right, are very supportive of all attempts by those trying to channel their inner artist.  I found it doesn’t matter whether you are a budding Picasso or if you barely know one end of a paintbrush from the other, everyone is welcome to have a go.

I believe in Creator God, God who speaks through our creativity and sets our spirits flying free through our art.  It doesn’t matter how good you are, whether the result looks like you’d imagined it or not; it’s the process, the taking part, the giving it a go, which is important.

And it’s sociable.  There’s tea, coffee and cake and plenty of folk to chat to: St Mark’s really is the place to be on a Thursday morning from 10.00.  Come along and see for yourself.

Lesley Shatwell

Thursday Art

Calling all Detectives – mural detectives!

We urgently need information regarding the paintings at St. Marks.

These were painted by Kitty (Eleanor Catherine Wallace) Milroy, the daughter of the Vicar of Carisbrooke when the family relocated to The Oast House in Hale in the early 1900s.

Did you know that the figures in the murals were all local people from Hale? But who are they?

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Is this Percy Hook?

We have found out that ‘the third cherub from the right’ is Percy Hook.

Even this is a bit vague as it depends which way you happen to be looking as to which is right.

Hilda Mary Butler was a figure ‘dressed in blue’.

Can you remember anything that your Gran or Grandad said about the paintings or whether they were one of the figures or if they mentioned who was?

Anything at all will help us build up a picture so we can have the information when we apply for grants to stabilize the wall paintings.

Percy Hook recalled in the Farnham Herald (publ. Nov 30th 1990)

‘it was done by Miss Milroy, who lived at a big house on the corner of what they call Boxalls Hill. I remember sitting in a hut behind her house while she painted it, but not how it came about’

The paintings themselves are painted directly onto the wall so he must have been referring to her preliminary sketches and paintings not of which seem to have survived. The church paintings were painted with a modified version of the technique known as spirit fresco. It is recorded during the major restoration carried out by Evelyn Caesar in 1946, that she used Kitty Milroy’s technique employing a walnut of beeswax.

Indeed the two figures of Moon and Cloud are part of this restoration. But did you know that the small face above the window was also part of this restoration?  Evelyn used her niece for this portrait, Josephine Jones (nee Caesar).

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Apparently a Violet Common assisted Kitty with the paintings. Does anyone know if this is this true?

Unfortunately all the parish magazines from 1900-1983 are missing. If you know any that still exist before you dump them please hand them on as they provide a great insight as to what was going on and they may even mention the paintings.

These paintings are a unique part of our heritage and represent an important piece of the history of the short lived church decoration at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Century.

What can you find out?

Thanks for your help detective.

Please contact

Nick Seversway  

nick.seversway@outlook.com, 07954693191

Realms of Glory

I’m not sure how best to describe it. Words like “plague” or “ infestation” don’t seem quite appropriate, and anyway, are probably sacrilegious. “Visitation” is probably safest if I want to avoid divine retribution.angel

Basically, St Mark’s is full of angels.

It all began a couple of months ago. We had our mini arts and music festival (“Arts at St Marks”) in October. After this was cleared away, the church looked a bit bare. Lesley S then came up with the idea of filling the place with angels during Advent. Shortly after that, Alison R hit upon “Realms of Glory” as a title for the theme. I announced it for a few weeks during November and then it happened. The angels started to fly in…

The first ones to arrive were a trio from Margaret. I’d previously announced that I’d like some to be flying above us, suspended from the cross ties below the ceiling. These seemed perfect for the job, so on the Monday morning, with the ladder firmly secured in place, I draped my old climbing rope over the tie and hauled the first angel up. This produced a certain silence from Lesley and Margaret. It really didn’t look like an angel. It looked quite scary. The juxtaposition of the ladder, rope and body also looked like we’d just lynched our first victim.

Just then, one of the mothers from Surrey slings came in and said, quite accurately, that it looked like one of Harry Potter’s dementors. A certain amount of hysterical laughter followed.

As we didn’t want people to go away with nightmares, we found a more benign location, on the wall behind the keyboard, where they look suitably angelic and not at all threatening.

However, this was just the start. We had a whole load more angels arrive from Hale Beavers and then the floodgates opened. They’re everywhere. Each time I go up to the church more have arrived. They’re on windowsills, dangling from the projector screen and almost everywhere else. We’ve even got a life-size (?) one standing by the entrance to welcome visitors to the church.

The overall effect is quite remarkable. Combined with the wall hangings, the Amnesty “Candles of Hope” paintings around the chancel and the traditional Christmas decorations, the place looks vibrant and an exciting place, where things are happening. Our thanks and congratulations to everyone who has contributed. It has turned out to be an exceptional tribute to people’s creativity, sense of belonging and pride in the church.

There is much nonsense talked about the spirit of Christmas. However, in some small way I think we can see an example of it here.

Bob Shatwell

 

Exploring Faith through Art

Exploring faith through art

 

For Advent this year we are “Exploring Faith through Art” – a time of looking at some artwork on the themes of the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Flight to Egypt and discussing how it informs our faith. There will be refreshments, discussion and a chance to try doing some art for those who want to. It is at St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Upper Hale, GU9 0LT on three Mondays 4,11 and 18 December 19:30-21:00

To find out about either of these events contact Lesley revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org or 01252 820537.

Photos of the Arts at St Mark’s Festival

On the weekend of 20-22nd October St Mark’s held an Arts Festival, organised by the energetic and talented Bob and Lesley Shatwell. It consisted of an exhibition, concert, workshops, ceilidh and festival service… a mesmerising, colourful exuberant weekend celebrating art and the people of this parish. Here are some photos:

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Re-drawing the map:an arts project

In 1957, a local Hale lady, Evelyn Caesar, produced a pictorial map of the parish of Hale as it was then.  She included a wealth of historical material and her legacy is a very attractive document.

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Since Miss Caesar’s time, there have been many changes in the Parish: some buildings have disappeared, others have been built.  Perhaps the biggest change of all is the alteration to the Parish Boundary itself: we now live in the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale and consequently, we need to re-draw our parish map.  This is particularly relevant this year as it is exactly 60 years since the original map was produced!

Our aim is not to produce a particularly accurate map, but to put pictures of buildings, parks and other features that mean something to us (we could even draw our own homes!).  We also need plenty of people, dogs and cars to put on the streets.  Photos of lots of local buildings and parks will be provided, but if you have any pictures that you would like to draw on our map, please bring them along.

You are needed to help with this project:  GOOD LUCK!

 

Alison Ridgeon

Arts at St Marks…

…how it all came about

 

There’s something creative happening in Upper Hale.  Our friends Dave and Helena took one look at St Mark’s and declared that it would be just the place for art workshops and an exhibition.

Musicians had been playing for Sunday worship for a while and there have been concerts held in the past to raise fund for Emily (the organ), to socialise and generally to make music for the pleasure it brings.

I love all kinds of music, but since I have been licensed as a lay minister, I have been wanting to share the variety of religious songs, gospel music and folk hymns; and may be to see if I could put them together into a completely musical service.

Creativity was bubbling up throughout our parish and I am not sure who first thought, “We could have a festival to celebrate all of this”, but the idea took hold.  People offered time and expertise, musicians looked through their repertoire to select the right pieces and suddenly, it is all taking shape very quickly.

Perhaps in years to come, when Arts at St Mark’s has grown to the size of Glastonbury or Edinburgh, people will wonder how it all started, but it really was just the spark of creativity which lit up simultaneously in a group of friends and the desire to make it happen for our neighbourhood.

Lesley Shatwell