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The Art and History of Whiteknights – A roundup

Over the summer we have posted a series of articles and videos, which you can link to below, celebrating the art and history of Whiteknights. The series accompanied the publication of The Art and History of Whiteknights book, which we published together with the Whiteknights Studio Trail, with support from The Friends of the University of Reading.

2020 is the trail’s 20th year and in the unfortunate absence of the trail itself in 2020 (it will be back in 2021!) we hope that the book, together with these fascinating posts and videos, 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.

‘There’s something about the Whiteknights area that makes people stay here.’ – From the Foreword by Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3 Presenter and long-term resident

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 1 – A visit to the studio of local artist Sally Castle

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 2 – Jenny Halstead writes about the Whiteknights Studio Trail and Christchurch Green

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 3 – Martin Andrews on the Old Dairy, and a tour of his studio

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 4 – Chris Mercier

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 5 – Carole Stephens

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 6 – Andrew Boddington

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 7 – Salvo Toscano

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 8 – Kennet Quilters

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 9 – Hilary James

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

The Art and History of Whiteknights: 11 – A tour around Southern Hill and the area around Whiteknights with Evelyn Williams and Dennis Wood

 

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The Art and History of Whiteknights: 11 – A tour around Southern Hill and the area around Whiteknights with Evelyn Williams and Dennis Wood

Filmed to mark the publication of the book The Art and History of Whiteknights this video, produced by Ian Burn, features a fascinating historical tour around the Whiteknights and Southern Hill areas of Reading with commentary by Evelyn Williams and Dennis Wood. The video complements their written contribution in the book and points out the locations of some of the artworks featured in it.

Evelyn Williams is one of the founders of the Whitley Pump, a community-based website covering Katesgrove and parts of South Reading. She is actively involved in championing Reading’s heritage and is Chair of the Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

Dennis Wood is an author and speaker on the history of Whitley, Southern Hill and surrounding areas. He is Vice Chairman and a Trustee of the Friends of Reading University and a tour leader for organised groups visiting the University campuses.

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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: 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.