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The Art and History of Whiteknights: 10 – A tour around the Whiteknights campus with John Grainger and Ian Burn

Filmed to mark the publication of the book The Art and History of Whiteknights this video, produced by John Grainger and Ian Burn, takes us on a tour of the Whiteknights campus of the University of Reading, and tells the stories behind some of the key historical buildings and sites, many of which provided inspiration for the artworks featured in the book. The video tour points out buildings and places which feature in some of the artworks, including The Ure Museum, The site of the Old Dairy, Foxhill House, Whiteknights Lake, TOB1, The Harris Garden, and The Wilderness.

As John Grainger suggests, why not take a copy of the book in hand and ‘use it as a guide for your next, or maybe your first, ramble through the park or even to prepare you for the next Whiteknights Studio Trail?’ An excellent suggestion! And if you are not able to get to to Whiteknights, the book and the video will bring it to life for you. Buy a copy here.

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John Grainger had an academic career at the University of Reading, where he became Head of the Department of Microbiology. He is a Trustee of the Friends of the University and uses his interest in the history of the University for producing material for Friends’ heritage events and other outreach activities.

Ian Burn worked for over 30 years as an administrator in the University Library at Whiteknights. Retirement has allowed him more time to spend pursuing his interest in local history and in particular the history of the University.

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In a normal year, we always look forward to the annual Whiteknights Studio Trail, where our local artists and craftspeople open their houses. This is the trail’s 20th year, and in a joint venture with the Whiteknights Studio Trail, and with support from The Friends of the University of Reading, Two Rivers Press is delighted to publish a beautiful celebratory book, The Art and History of Whiteknights, which features 28 artworks all inspired by the Whiteknights area of Reading. The featured artists have all exhibited on the trail over the years, and in the unfortunate absence of the trail itself in 2020 (it will be back in 2021!) we hope that this book will remind you of the wealth of creative talent in our locality, as well as inspiring you to reflect more deeply on the history and roots of this special part of town.

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The Art and History of Whiteknights: 9 – Hilary James

In this video, musician, singer and artist Hilary James shows us around Talfourd Avenue in the Whiteknights area of Reading, which is the inspiration for the artwork she produced for The Art and History of Whiteknights. She talks about her illustration work and how using an iPad has opened up new possibilities including animation and the mixing together of art with music.

Hilary James studied Fine Art at Reading University before changing direction to pursue a musical career. In 2004, she rekindled her passion for painting. Four years ago she became excited by the possibilities of digital media: iPad art, film making and augmented reality and hasn’t looked back.

hilaryjames.com

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In a normal year, we always look forward to the annual Whiteknights Studio Trail, where our local artists and craftspeople open their houses. This is the trail’s 20th year, and in a joint venture with the Whiteknights Studio Trail, Two Rivers Press is delighted to publish a beautiful celebratory book, The Art and History of Whiteknights, which features 28 artworks all inspired by the Whiteknights area of Reading. The featured artists have all exhibited on the trail over the years, and in the unfortunate absence of the trail itself in 2020 (it will be back in 2021!) we hope that this book will remind you of the wealth of creative talent in our locality, as well as inspiring you to reflect more deeply on the history and roots of this special part of town.

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The Art and History of Whiteknights: 8 – Kennet Quilters

Kennet Quilters – introduction

The Kennet Quilters have exhibited on the Whiteknights Studio Trail since it started.  The majority of us live in the Trail area. Three of us live in Northcourt Avenue, one in Barnsdale Road and one in Glebe Road and we meet one evening every fortnight (currently by videoconference!). The group started 30 years ago and some of its founder members are still in it.

Our participation in WST has been one of the highlights for us working together. We have always used the Trail to promote patchwork and quilting in general and to provide contact lists and advice. As a result several more local groups have started up too. We also aim to raise money from raffling quilts and selling refreshments. Over the years of WST we have raised over £5,000, which has been donated to local good causes.  If the Trail had gone ahead in 2020, we would have been raising money for Epilepsy Berkshire https://epilepsyberkshire.org/.

The WST stimulates our collaboration on pieces for the exhibition and stretches our creativity. This has also drawn us into contributing to other local exhibitions such as Reading and its Rivers and Lilies for Oscar Wilde. When we are not working on the Trail we also have other collaborative activities such as making stockings at Christmas for Reading Family Aid, making quilts for Project Linus and Buscott Ward (RBH) and creating ‘Fiddle Quilts’ for care homes.

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Lillian King

Kennet Quilters – individual contributions

“This quilt sums up my quilting passion. Once I decided to make this design, I had great fun searching through my fabric collection to choose the right dark and light tones. I did not need to go and buy any new fabric. Scrap quilts are my thing!”  Lillian King

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Mary Parry

“My interest at the moment is in using innovative techniques to make Journal Quilts – small quilts that record events through the year, like this view from Greys Court on a visit in December. The variety of skills such as dyeing fabric and using unusual materials were developed while I was doing a City&Guilds diploma in patchwork and quilting.  I like to combine my love of landscape with its interpretation into textile art.”  Mary Parry

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Barbara Reeves

“I enjoyed making this wall hanging as it represented the type of sewing I usually do. It was hand stitched and quilted, and the design reminds me of holidays spent in Arran some years ago.”  Barbara Reeves

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Joan Lewis

“I made this quilt for my granddaughter, Charlotte.  It has small animals in the sashing, the alphabet at the sides, numbered squares and a teddybears’ picnic.  Constructing the central bears was great fun. As well as quilting, I enjoy working in silver and fused glass to create jewellery which has been featured on the studio trail. I’ve recently pieced a quilt which we will raffle in the next trail.”  Joan Lewis

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Sue Harmsworth

“This wallhanging grew like Topsy! It started as eight corner log cabin blocks in black and white which were made as samples for a book about patchwork techniques.  A few years later they came together with the addition of red to highlight the blocks and bring them to life. “   Sue Harmsworth

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Anne Wheldon

“I love producing geometric patterns in patchwork and quilting. I find it relaxing to hand-sew these using paper piecing, which can be picked up and put down, sometimes over many months, like this quilt based on Penrose tiling. But I also enjoy the challenge of working out the best way to assemble a geometric pattern using a sewing machine, and like the speed at which a machine-pieced quilt grows.”  Anne Wheldon

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Gaynor Lloyd

“Having been a traditional quilter for many years, I now enjoy working on smaller pieces using collage techniques. I like using themes around places I love, like this collage map of Venice or seaside places in West Wales.”  Gaynor Lloyd

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Sallie Wall

“My favourite piece of work is this turquoise hanging, inspired by a Paul Klee painting. The original painting was multi coloured but I chose to use different shades of turquoise and different textures to create the piece. I’m a bit of a messy muddler and I prefer random to more precise shapes. Each block is a different size and shape and paper piecing was the best way to go. I enjoyed the whole process, from idea to completion.” Sallie Wall

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Group photo

Taken in the Queen’s Head, Christchurch Green where we got together to reveal the results of a ‘Chinese whispers’ quilting project that we displayed at the 2018 Whiteknights Studio Trail.

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In a normal year, we always look forward to the annual Whiteknights Studio Trail, where our local artists and craftspeople open their houses. This is the trail’s 20th year, and in a joint venture with the Whiteknights Studio Trail, Two Rivers Press is delighted to publish a beautiful celebratory book, The Art and History of Whiteknights, which features 28 artworks all inspired by the Whiteknights area of Reading. The featured artists have all exhibited on the trail over the years, and in the unfortunate absence of the trail itself in 2020 (it will be back in 2021!) we hope that this book will remind you of the wealth of creative talent in our locality, as well as inspiring you to reflect more deeply on the history and roots of this special part of town.

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The Art and History of Whiteknights: 7 – Salvo Toscano

Salvo Toscano writes:

© Salvo Toscano

I have always been interested in looking at the space where we live and how it defines us and interact with us. How it contributes to our sense of belonging and being. It describes and defines a place in our mind, or gives us clues about the history of the place or the people, maybe makes us curious about it.

By looking at the space I aim to observe how it may reflects or holds emotions: photographing the space is a way for me to capture my experience of being and seeing and interpreting those emotions.

I was very delighted to be invited to contribute to this publication celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Whiteknights Studio Trail. I have been living in Reading sine 2001, found out and visited the WST artists for the first time in 2005 and joined in 2010. It is an event that brings local people together and a great way to explore the area. A good feature of the WST is that all happens within an area that can be easily walked through, the streets really come to life during those weekends. Every weekend I had several hundreds people visiting me and I always found fascinating to observe them while watching, scrutinising, absorbing my work. It was a pleasure during the past years to engage with visitors to my exhibitions and discussing, answering questions or just chatting, sometimes discovering common connections or small unknown facts.  Always grateful to visitors for appreciating my work and the purchases: glad to know that there are some walls and shelves in Reading with my work on display.

As a photographer one of the reoccurring questions was about my processes and equipment.  Nearly all my personal work is currently shot on film and occasionally I process black and white prints in a traditional darkroom. For me it is not a matter of better or worse, rather just enjoyment in using and responding to a vision or aesthetic, that I feel reflects a specific idea or project. I occasionally find helpful constraining an idea to a certain format or technical limitations, it contributes to harnessing how I want to express something. Other times I run totally free and combine different formats as if they were different elements of a band covering different bits of a music score.

The image selected for this publication is from a set of images I shot around the Whiteknights Campus Lake. The lake is one of those semi-hidden gems in Reading. Though we’re in an urban area, once you step in that part of the campus you are taken somewhere that feels quite rural. This dichotomy between urban and bucolic probably inspired me. I aimed to not look for extraordinary images but for a depiction of somewhere that is mundane and reachable: a space that is visible but concealed as well. By using a slow shutter approach I sought to capture a feeling, a perception of a place how it would not be normally visible to us. For a brief moment it is taken outside its real context. I decided to use a black and white film to emphasize the mood of a semi-real scenery and perceived nostalgia for a place that, as a matter of fact, is very real and present.

For this work I decided to go for my Hasselblad camera, a medium format film camera, and compose within the square frame that the camera produces. Medium format film is a type of film wider than the 35mm that most people are familiar with. With this camera it produces images of 6x6cm on the negatives. The emulsion being on a bigger surface, it generates a different looking image and finish compared to a 35mm frame. An advantage of this camera is that allows me to explore at the same time different approaches, say, in both black and white and colour, as the film is kept in a magazine that can be swapped with another one with a different film, during the same shoot. Below are the image in the book and some of those that “did not make it” .

You can keep track of me on Instagram at @salvo_ts and @salvo_toscano_photographer

Website www.salvotoscanophotography.com

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In a normal year, we always look forward to the annual Whiteknights Studio Trail, where our local artists and craftspeople open their houses. This is the trail’s 20th year, and in a joint venture with the Whiteknights Studio Trail, Two Rivers Press is delighted to publish a beautiful celebratory book, The Art and History of Whiteknights, which features 28 artworks all inspired by the Whiteknights area of Reading. The featured artists have all exhibited on the trail over the years, and in the unfortunate absence of the trail itself in 2020 (it will be back in 2021!) we hope that this book will remind you of the wealth of creative talent in our locality, as well as inspiring you to reflect more deeply on the history and roots of this special part of town.

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The Art and History of Whiteknights: 6 – Andrew Boddington

Andrew Boddington’s stained glass window, illustrated here, features in The Art and History of Whiteknights. The window was commissioned for a home in Upper Redlands Road, in a building which was previously used by the University of Reading as rooms for the Music Faculty. The design of the glass reflects the history of the building while making a bold and colourful visual statement.

In this video Andrew talks a little about this artwork in its (slightly windy!) location, and he then shows us around his attic studio and introduces his current experimental work using sifted glass frit, inspired by some recent life drawing classes and the cut out technique of Henri Matisse.

 

Andrew Boddington, Designer and Maker in Glass.

About

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In a normal year, we always look forward to the annual Whiteknights Studio Trail, where our local artists and craftspeople open their houses. This is the trail’s 20th year, and in a joint venture with the Whiteknights Studio Trail, Two Rivers Press is delighted to publish a beautiful celebratory book, The Art and History of Whiteknights, which features 28 artworks all inspired by the Whiteknights area of Reading. The featured artists have all exhibited on the trail over the years, and in the unfortunate absence of the trail itself in 2020 (it will be back in 2021!) we hope that this book will remind you of the wealth of creative talent in our locality, as well as inspiring you to reflect more deeply on the history and roots of this special part of town.