The Country Wife Mural 4

The central area of the Country Wife Mural appears to be inside a Church Hall judging by the shape of the windows.  It is well lit and the ladies of the Women’s Institute are occupied with the skills that were normal activities for them.

Restoration of the mural is progressing.  The picture below gives us a better idea of the size of the figures and how they are 3 dimensional.  After 60 years, the mural needs cleaning and repairing.  This is being undertaken at the Old Chapel Textile Centre, Main Street, Greenham Business Park in Newbury. Professional Conservators are involved but experienced needlework volunteers are welcome to  participate.  This is a great chance to involved in an important project.  Their website is below.


The red dress above is also in the forefront of the restoration picture and gives an idea of the size of the figures.  Although the mural was designed by Constance Howard and constructed by her and her students at Goldsmiths College, the Women’s Institute members provided  examples of the activities in which they were skilled.   Here, you can see embroidery in a hoop and canvas work being stitched loose in the hand.  The lady in the blue and green check dress has a tape measure round her neck.  The mural is full of details that one can miss unless one looks at it closely.

Included is a better view of the lady in the red dress.  Apologies again for the quality of the photos which are screen shots of screen shots.

P.S. Constance Howard taught at Embroiderer’s Association of Canada Seminar in St Johns, Newfoundland in 1984. I think it was that year.  Did a reader of this blog attend Seminar that year? I was not in her class but I have some vivid memories of that week. It was May and it snowed. The University opened up the underground tunnels for us to go from one building to another as we had not come prepared for snow. We had a magnificent lobster dinner one night. A few of us took a side trip to St Pierre and Miquelon Islands. The weather was still un-seasonal and we could not get back to St Johns by boat so we flew out on a 9 seater plane. I got to sit in the co-pilots chair and the co-pilot got left behind on the island. It was days later before it occurred to me that could have been a very responsible chair to sit in. Constance went on to teach in London, Ontario.

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