Thursday 3 February 2011

Anna-Maria Garthwaite and James Leman

Top three photo's show Mora Thunder and Staley Rondeau alongside a design by James Leman.
Last week I went on a field trip with The Gentle Author and Stanley Rondeau to the VA to meet Curator of Designs, Moira Thunder. Stanley is a direct descendant of a Spitalfields weaver called John Rondeau, who was born in France in 1666.
We went to look at some of the original designs Anna-Maria Garthwaite had produced for John Rondeau to weave.

Seeing the original notes and dates on the paper brought home how very long ago this was and just how vibrant the colour must have been in its fresh newness but to accompany Stanley and to witness his emotional connection to his ancestor, whilst at the same time picking Moira's brains about the various people and their skills and responsibilities involved in producing a woven silk design for a client was, for me as a Costume Designer, the perfect framework for a museum visit.
Considering the human element and the world in which these people lived, made their stories come to life and I felt their characters lift off the pages which is, in the end, my job.