DORCAS PENNYFATHER

My latest body of work has been made for the re-opening of a Victorian house in Cardiff, Insole Court 

Usually it is the ‘toffs’, such as the Insoles, whose history is narrated, but here I’ve developed the lives of the ‘lower orders’, who lived and worked either in Insole Court or in the surrounding area of Llandaff.   The names, dates and occupations have been sourced from original documents found in various archives such as church records, parish registers and censuses.

Francis Herbert Wride marriage cert Annie Louisa Streeter 10th April 1907

The tool represents the employment and status of the male.

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The fine knitted lace  placed below depicts the domestic female; a reflection of the attitudes of by-gone days when the man was considered to be superior and above the woman. I’ve chosen to use the knitting as a metaphor as most women in the past would have learnt how to knit, both for pleasure and necessity.

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The labels give names, occupation and the date of their wedding day. Who knows, maybe some of you will know of or be related to some of them?

My thanks to Gaynor Howard for her help with research.

Here are other examples of my work,

 

Like many people I’m interested in family and social history; this set of work is entitled Marriages.  I utilize aged artisan and agricultural tools (representing the male occupation) to which I attach a small piece of hand-knitted lace (representing the female). I knit the lace on very thin wire needles using fine cotton or linen thread designed for lace making. Taking names from old documents I complete each unique piece with a label indicting a suggested wedding day, mount them onto cotton fabric then insert them into wooden handmade box frames.

Dimensions range from 25×25 cms to 40×40 cms; priced between £125 and £175

Please contact me if you have a family treasure you’d like me to incorporate into a piece of work for you.

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A Sign of the Times has been taken from a large wall hanging. It is a selection of personal advertisements posted in the latter part of the 19th century. Can be used as a tea towel or hanging – printed on unbleached cotton – £9.00 including P&P. Please contact me if you’d like to buy.P1010174

 

 

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