Sunday, October 30, 2016

Paper-clad mannequins at Berrington Hall

The grounds at Berrington Hall

While staying in Shropshire this summer, Hilary Gooding brought our little group to Berrington Hall, a National Trust property. It features an extravagantly furnished mansion, interesting gardens, and the final landscaping project of Capability Brown's long and illustrious career. This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of the famous landscape designer, and there was a special needlework exhibit on display that celebrated his life and times.

One of the many rooms, with its period furnishings

For me, one of the most intriguing aspects of the visit to Berrington Hall was the mannequins dressed in period costumes, all made of paper, not cloth. The artist is Denise Watson, and her beautifully costumed figures added a touch of life to the formidable formality of the house.

Don't stand too close to the fire!

Notice the hair, the lace and the "pearls", all created from paper.

Even the shoes were made of paper

I believe the central figure was meant to represent Capability Brown,
going over his landscape design with the architect (left), and the fellow on the right, described as a gardener.

Perhaps the whimsical treatment of the hair was meant
to signify his occupation.

This young miss's dress has a skirt with a sheer, polka dot overlay,
matching the lacy ruffle on her bonnet, all crafted from paper.

A family grouping adds warmth and scale to the elegant surroundings.
Notice the sheer layer on the dress of the little girl, to the left.

The docent explained that the paper clothing had been made especially for the venue, to celebrate the anniversary of Capability Brown. He also said that the artist wanted all the clothing destroyed when the exhibition ended. He said he hoped that something could be worked out that would allow the paper costumes to be on permanent exhibition there. I would like to think the staff at Berrington House had come to grow fond of their "paper dolls".

No comments: