The Miss Philippa Savary Residency, Elton House, Bath UK
Assembly Gallery, 4 Cannon Street East, Hamilton ON August 31st to Sept 29th, 2018
Including a special Flower Bower Installation by Jessica Gale of Sweet Gale Gardens and Jessica Payne of A Fine Medley, Supercrawl weekend September 14th, 15th and 16th
Opening Reception Friday Sept. 14, 7-10pm.
Built in 1799, Elton House is located in the center of the city of Bath, in England. It is a restored period house now under the care of the Landmark Trust. It was bequeathed to the Trust by Miss Philippa Savary, who gradually over a period of decades acquired ownership of the house and operated an antique shop from its front room, which now houses a museum displaying some of her treasures. In the spring of 2018 Stephen Altena used a stay at this house to construct a fantasy artist's residency, researching the history of the house and the decorative arts of the period with the additional resources of the various museums and collections of Bath. The house itself (and the Landmark Trust) provided a wealth of detail, from period textiles, wallpapers and ornamentation, to the lushly overgrown enclosed garden where Miss Savary escaped the hurly burly of town life and trade. Using this research as inspiration for his own paintings, Altena reaches into the past and re-establishes a link between this enchanted property, the balm of the decorative arts and his own queer aesthetic, and with the assistance of florists Jessica Payne and Jessica Gale, recreates this pleasant bower in our own fast paced world.