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Egham Visions with Estella Castle
July 16th 2021 - December 1st 2021
The ‘Egham Visions’ project, funded by the Arts Council of England, draws on the Egham Museum’s John Hassell watercolour collection, painted in the 1820s, as a backdrop for exploring hidden stories. As well as placing these pictures in the wider context of contemporary political, agricultural, industrial and social lives, there are relevant local stories which display humour, sadness and normal everyday life of the inhabitants of rural Egham in the 1820s.
After a period of research uncovering stories of those who lived and worked in the Egham area, the project culminates in an exhibition opening in Spring 2021. Working with Egham Museum and the Heritage Crafts Association to highlight several endangered crafts, the exhibition will feature work from Artist in Residence, QEST Scholar Estella Castle, who has drawn inspiration from life in Georgian Egham and the trades and crafts of the day, in particular, straw Corn Dolly making. She also created a life size horse sculpture from straw. The Enclosures Map of 1805 lists field names that indicate wheat growing activity once took place locally. In a cluster around the Barley Mow Pub in Englefield Green, names such as ‘In Three Acres Medlake or Thorpe Lammas’, ‘Bread Croft and Harvest Corner’ paint a picture of where and how local grain was harvested.