What an incredibly inspiring weekend. My Art Fund card ends next week, so I was looking for somewhere to go. I hit on Bramhall Hall, near Stockport and was pleased to see that I could get there by train and bus. Then I found Staircase House is in the centre of Stockport. I had seen it once on Flog It! and thought it looked very interesting. A Tudor/Jacobean theme would suit me. Added to that a small museum (actually in the same visitor centre for Staircase House) and a lovely parish church, a hat museum and I was set up for an interesting day.
I started with the museum, which had some textile-related exhibits as well as exhibits through time. Then into Staircase House, which was fascinating. I loved the stumpwork mirror frame. I just had time to nip into the church, grab a sandwich and get lost before I found the bus station.
Off on the bus to Bramhall Hall, which was probably my highlight of the day for its incredible Solar and the Elizabethan ceiling in one room, lovely chapel too. I took tons of photos. Back into Stockport and I had time to visit the Hat Factory, lots of exhibits and machinery with mini films about the hat industry. I also popped into the Art Gallery opposite the immense Stockport Town Hall. There were tow interesting exhibitions plus World War 1 war memorabilia upstairs. Such a great and varied day.
I had to massage my legs and take a pain killer. So I did not expect to get up and go out again. But that is what I did. For once in my life I actually read a fb ad and decided I could not miss the fashion exhibit at Chatsworth, ‘House Style’ especially as it was Sotheby’s sculpture in the garden annual show too. Not only that, but with the Art Fund card, I would get 50% reduction in entry to the house and garden. There was a river festival where I live with live music, so I did not need any further persuasion to escape.
Wow is all I can say. Don’t miss it, the fashion exhibition in the house is fantastic. Lots of famous designer dresses. A few I would have liked to bring home. The book that accompanies it is sadly lacking in good photos of the costumes. Since the lighting is low to preserve the costumes, it would have been wonderful to have a book that showed them. I just loved it, in fact I would go again tomorrow if I could afford it. It was fabulous to see the sketchbooks of Georgiana and some of the past Dukes, the jewellery and accessories. It runs until 22 October. There are also 3 short videos on chatsworth.org about the exhibition. Can’t say the same for the sculpture this year, several people were commenting that they did not like any of them. I liked three, but certainly not the best year. I particularly liked the connecting squares sculpture as it changed shape. Bring back Chihuly!
I have seen such wondrous things, taken 800 photos and will obviously need a week to recover, but it was really worth it. Back to quilting and writing now, but working on new, exciting ideas too.
Enjoy your creative week.
Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2017