I painted this a few years ago. It was an elephant my friend made for penkhull mystery plays. It was used in a procession onto the village green and was carried by shoulder straps. I think it had cloth legs hanging over the edge to make it look like someone was sitting on the elephant.
It was so amazing I decided to record it as a painting. The frame was made of willow withies then canvas was stretched over the frame and painted white. Finally a fringe was attached to it and other fabric decorations.
The painting went to my friends house but sadly the elephant is no more. I think it was burnt in a fire at the garage it was stored in a few years after the play.
A while ago Penkhull residents association decided to have a competition to create a flag for the village. The pictures surrounding the final flag were the 10 designs that had the most overall influence over the final design. I was really pleased to find out that one of them was my design. (the middle top design).
It feels good to have a flag to describe the village. The oval and lines coming in symbolise the village green and the roads coming into and surrounding it. The cockrel is based on the weather vane on top of the church. The colours are vibrant and cheerful. Local people had a choice of 4 designs taken from dozens of entries. The central flag in the photo was the winning design.
Looking on Facebook, memories pop up from years ago. These pictures were taken in July 2013. I’m not sure if I did all of them that year. I may have painted over an old one from a year or two before.
As on other occasions harvest was one of the themes. Also the industrialisation of Stoke on Trent, when canals were dug out and bottle ovens and kilns were built. I even had to paint a public house. (With working door!)
I’m not sure how many years I have done this for and its always a bit of a rush job, or my health hasn’t been good. But I feel so much part if my community that I won’t say no.
I would love to do more, make the flats more intricate, more like murals. But at the end of the day they are only on display for a few hours, one day in a year. Just as long as the scenery helps tell the story…..that’s what they are there for.
Penkhull Mystery play day was hot and sunny. I missed the music morning in the church, but managed to watch the flag raised on the village green. The flag was chosen from a competition that was whittled down to 4 combined designs. The flag that won had the cockerel from the weather vane on the church on it, then an oval to to represent the roads up to the green and around it.
Next came Penkhull village brass bands playing popular and beautiful music to the crowd sitting on the green in front of the church.
There was also Morris dancing by Black Dog Molly, and a Hurdy Gurdy man playing ancient tunes, and a bower of song where anyone could come along and sing or play music.
It was time to get changed and ready for the play. I snapped a shot of the scenery I have been painting, but couldn’t get photo’s of the mystery play as I was in it! It went well and we had fun singing and dancing for the entertainment of the crowd. In 20 minutes a group of children were transported back in time, became farmers, were involved in Waterloo, were injured. Had a child, were evicted and had to live in a hole in the ground. Went through the first world war, then became Suffragettes, and eventually returned to the present.
Once the play was over there was time to get changed and listen to the Penkhull ukulele band, and watch the tug of war competition (only two teams entered from the same place as the other teams were too busy watching England play in the world cup.)
Finally I saw some short playlettes written for Harper’s Titchy theatre. This was performed as readings for two or more voices. It was very entertaining apart from being drowned out by loud musuc from the pub. (Half time at the England game).
It is a great credit to the people of Penkhull to do this so well each year. I heard up to 400 people help organise and volunteer for this community arts event .
It’s no wonder everyone is so busy at this time of year in Penkhull!
This afternoon (Saturday 7th July) I will be in the Mystery Play. This is the scenery that I have painted for it. The last photo is the two boards joined, the grey bars of cloud is not the finished effect because I decided to change them to flatter clouds. Unfortunately I could not take another picture because my phone went flat.
I have lost the book I was working from so I just tried painting cumulus and stratus clouds.
I think the looming clouds make it feel more oppressive. The play is about war, family, and woman’s equality. I hope it does work on the day.
Our play starts at 2 pm and only runs for 20 minutes, I think it will be good.
Just busy at the moment. I’m painting some of the scenery for our local mystery play next Saturday. The theme is the Tittensor Evictions by the Duke of Sutherland, and including two wars and the suffragette movement all in twenty minutes.
The scenery is based on a painting by Corot. I think it’s a landscape in the south of France. I’ve added a thatched cottage and there will be figures in the foreground. This is half of the panel (or flat as they call it in the theatre) its 8ft by 4ft. There will be another panel of the same size attached above it which of sky. I’m also going to add the hall where the Duke lived to this panel.
I’m painting with acrylics and emulsion on hard board. This took me about two hours to paint. I also have a sign to do…. so I will be very busy again!
The Mystery play has been happening for over 10 years now at Penkhull. It started out being purely religious but has taken on different themes over recent years, including one about the river Trent. Apparently it’s the largest community arts event in Stoke-on-Trent and there were 400 people participating in putting it on last year.
It’s on 7th July if you feel like coming along…
Seamus NOW HOME!
Seamus our boy cat has gone missing. We think he sneaked out while the builder had the bathroom window open.
I know its a long shot, but for anyone living in Stoke or Penkhull who is not on Facebook please can you let me know if you find him. He has a dark blue collar with diamond sparkly bits. He has a name tag with his address and our landline number. He has been microchipped .
He is timid and is probably hiding somewhere. He does not like cars. If he went to the front door and a car drove past he would run away from the noise of it. Unfortunately there are a lot of quiet roads and gardens behind us so he could have got a long way by now.
He has odd pupils to his eyes, one is slightly higher than the other so it looks like he is looking in slightly different directions. He has a heart murmer and may be affected by the heat.
Please let me know if you see or hear him. ..
He is now home having a wash lying on my foot! I whistled and shouted for two hours outside the back door. He always comes to me in the house when I whistle… also left his cat litter outside….