Design work by Ian Estevens
Well here we are in June and I must admit running a little behind from our original plan to be open for May, but on the plus side things are coming together quite smoothly.
One of the reasons we have been delayed was that we had to wait for the roof to be installed.
It's now in situ and looking great!
Here are some images of the space a few months ago.
And here is the brand new roof...
The seating has been removed the hanging baskets have been cleared and the walls are being built around the entire space to create an open light environment.
The fence at the front entrance will be removed which will also help to create the illusion of space and the signage will be moved to the outside entrance.
Brian kindly prepared a few samples for the walls, the idea is to keep it light by using a birch ply treated with Danish oil to help waterproof the surfaces and protect against rain.
Although we have the roof the space is still partially open at two ends.
The plinths will also be built using the same methods to create a clean contemporary feel to the exhibition.
Plants are going into large wooden planters either side of the central space creating an opening for the title of the exhibition.
The walls have been completed and plinths planters are in position and whilst Ian and I are in the process of finalising the graphics there has been enough time to see how the space stands up to rainfall.
With an exhibition partially exposed to the elements it's been slightly more challenging particularly when it comes to considering the placement and display of objects.
This was the space a week ago..
29th June 2016
With two weeks to go we are finalising the design work and gathering the objects together to be displayed on to the plinths.
These are currently being divided into tools and plants.
Every object selected has been carefully extracted from the original household vouchers Susan has been transcribing.
It's surprising how many objects particularly the building materials such as nails and screws have remained much the same. The language may have changed slightly but I'm sure within the building trade nails are still referred to as 8d,10d,12d,
As I found out last week this equates to the size of the nail. for example a 10d = 3''
The letter D is an abbreviation for a penny, but the D originally came from the old Roman coin the Denarius where carpentry nails were bought by the pennyweight.
Here is an example of vellum parchment this was used for the original garden plan drawings. The receipts were written for 2 skins of vellum for plans.
The skin used for Syon parks design work would have been calf and I managed to get hold of some remnants from a company called William Cowley in Buckinghamshire http://www.williamcowley.co.uk who have been making Vellum using traditional methods since 1870.
Wednesday 6th July 2016
With one week to go until opening the install for all the graphics begun. It was a resonably early start to the day with fair weather making it easier for the everyone working on site that day.
All the plants were selected according to the original plant list for Syon that entire list can be seen around the edges of each planter.
Monday 11th July 2016
With two days to go until opening the printers installing the graphics started their second day on site. We encountered a few technical issues the previous week which slowed us all down slightly, but we swiftly made it back on track and everything had been positioned onto the walls by 1.30pm leaving myself and Topher to finish the final planting and positioning of artefacts.
As it would have been impossible to include all the plants and tools that were originally used or planted.
Small transparent containers filled with seeds give a more rounded idea of the range of flowers, herbs and vegetables that were documented on the receipts.
These include onions, spinach, red and white clover, spring bulbs, carrots, mustard cress.
Here's an example of one voucher invoiced to the Earl of Northumberland in 1756 for garden tools and equiptment.
Image belongs to the Northumberland Estate
The people and workers plinth in progress showing tools plant seeds and other materials such as hay seed, dung and brick.
The exhibition officially opened on Thursday 14th July to the public and Syon visitors and will continue until the house and garden closes for the winter season on Sunday 30th October 2016.
You will be able to visit the exhibition without having to pay to go into the house and garden. This was something Susan and I felt was really important for it to be open and available to everyone. Whether you are an avid follower of Brown or a new convert to his work.
I'd like to say a big thank you to:
Brian and his team at Syon Park
It's been a real collaborative process from start to finish.