Project launched with exhibition

L-R: Deputy mayor James Bacon, Hastings mayor Nigel Sinden, Amber Rudd MP, 'Marianne North', Teri Sayers-Cooper from Creative Force, Scared Heart headteacher Mr Hellett, and Sacred Heart pupils (front)
L-R: Deputy mayor James Bacon, Hastings mayor Nigel Sinden, Amber Rudd MP, 'Marianne North', Teri Sayers-Cooper from Creative Force, Scared Heart headteacher Mr Hellett, and Sacred Heart pupils (front)

A project aiming to raise awareness of an inspirational Victorian explorer, artist and botanist was launched with an exhibition at a Hastings primary school last week.

The Exploring Marianne North project, run by East Sussex-based Creative Force, officially launched at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School on Friday (May 25).

The school is one of a number of partners across the town working with Creative Force on the project, and was chosen because it sits in the former gardens of Marianne House on the Old London Road, where Marianne was born and raised.

Pupils from each year group at Sacred Heart spent time creating artwork inspired by Marianne North, which was on display at the launch event.

Amber Rudd MP, who attended the exhibition, said: “I was delighted to view the collections of paintings by each year group exhibited around the room, which clearly demonstrated the brilliant colours favoured by Marianne North.

“Their quality was of an impressively high standard, and it was a joy to see the obvious pleasure which the pupils had taken in executing their paintings inspired by Marianne North.

“They were also clearly impressed by the number of countries around the world that Marianne had visited, which would be amazing even by today’s standards, but all the more so in Victorian times. The cakes the parents made for the event also made a great addition to the exhibition!”

Marianne North was born in 1830 in Hastings. She travelled the globe to satisfy her passion for recording the world’s flowers and plants with her paintbrush. She travelled alone over six continents, visiting America, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, South Africa, Chile and many more.

For more information on the project, email teri@creativeforce.org.uk.