Following on from the widely acclaimed public art trail Sitting With Jane, 24 unique Jane Austen inspired BookBenches will go under the hammer during the official auction in Basingstoke on the evening of Friday 15th September 2017, to raise valuable funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.
This unique free public art trail has marked the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. The BookBenches have each been painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, and were located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke for ten weeks over the Summer.
Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia designed and painted one of the BookBenches (scroll down for more details), and will be speed-painting live during the auction at The Ark Conference & Events Centre, Dinwoodie Drive, RG24 9NN Basingstoke. Her resulting painting will be auctioned separately in the coming few weeks to raise additional funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity - watch this space for details!
"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.
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.
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. Now that the trail has finished, the BookBenches will be auctioned off on Friday 15th September 2017 to raise much needed funds to support the vital work of Ark Cancer Centre Charity. The trail is presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place.