"Look Upon Verdure" raises £6,750 for Basingstoke Cancer Charity

September 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Friday 15th September witnessed the grand finale of the widely acclaimed public art trail Sitting With Jane, with 24 unique Jane Austen inspired BookBenches being auctioned at the Ark Conference Centre in Basingstoke, to raise valuable funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity. Presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place, the trail has raised an impressive £95,700 for the charity.

Sitting With Jane was one of numerous events this year marking the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. Each BookBench was painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, sponsored by the generosity of local businesses, and located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke for ten weeks over the Summer.


Photo credit: Adrian Lovell

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia, whose BookBench design "Look Upon Verdure" fetched the second highest bid of the evening at £6,750, also performed a live speed-painting demonstration during the evening, creating a portrait interpretation of Jane Austen in the space of 60 minutes, in celebration of Austen's recent appearance on the ten pound note. The resulting painting on canvas will be auctioned separately via Ebay in the coming few weeks to raise additional funds for
Ark Cancer Centre Charity - watch this space for details!

Thanks to the generosity of Laura and Matt at The Topiary Salon, Lois' BookBench will remain in Old Basing near Basingstoke and will still be on view to visitors. Appropriately for a beauty salon, the BookBench is not only decorative but also functional.

Below: Laura and Matt Haystaff of The Topiary Salon with Lois Cordelia and "Look Upon Verdure" at the auction, 15th September 2017. Photo credit: Adrian Lovell

Below: Lois's 60 minute speed-portrait of Jane Austen will be auctioned via Ebay in the coming few weeks.

Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
September 15th 2017

Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
September 15th 2017

Photo credit: Jason Curtis

"Look Upon Verdure"

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia had her design "Look Upon Verdure" chosen for the trail and travelled 150 miles to Basingstoke in February to paint it onto a BookBench. Lois took 4.5 hours (interspersed with breaks!) on Tuesday 28th February to transform the blank white BookBench, using acrylic paints, lots of metallic and iridescent colours and a large brush. She had also prepared her own paper-cut stencils of two quotations of Jane Austen, illustrating her love of Nature, in which Lois set herself the special challenge of imitating Austen's handwriting and even her signature (as it appears on her will - see below). Jane invites us to pause in our hectic modern lifestyles, sit with her on a bench and rest our eyes on nature, gardens and greenery: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

Lois's BookBench was on public display in the middle of the village of Overton, near Basingstoke, from 17th June until 31st August 2017.


Follow: @LoisCordelia @SittingWithJane @JAusten200 @Basingstoke #SittingWithJane @Ark_Charity

Above: Lois with Clare and Amanda from De La Rue

Below: Lois created her own set of paper-cut stencils to evoke the beautiful handwriting of Jane Austen, including this interpretation of Austen's signature.

Below: Lois uses her own hand-made paper-cut stencils to transfer Jane Austen's quotations onto the BookBench.

"Look Upon Verdure"#SittingWithJane teaser: using my own #papercut #stencils to evoke #JaneAusten's elegant #handwriting :)
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
Sitting With Jane - Wild in Art - De La Rue plc - Basingstoke - Festival Place @JAusten200 #LookUponVerdure

Lois' design "Look Upon Verdure" has been generously sponsored by De La Rue, whose headquarters are located near Basingstoke.

The trail has encouraged visitors to explore both well known and less frequented parts of north Hampshire, from beautiful villages and rural landscapes that have scarcely changed since Austen's time to modern visitor attractions, landmarks and great shopping.

Meanwhile, Lois Cordelia is very excited to have recently secured her fourth Wild in Art commission, which will remain top secret until the big reveal in October 2017... Stay tuned! :-)


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