Yearly Archives: 2009

The Flowers of the Mansion


The Flowers of the Mansion 5mins with sound
commissioned by Tatton park biennial for the website.

 

The Flowers of the Mansion
has been made from images of the interior of the mansion at Tatton Park, vintage postcards of the park, images from the Tatton archive and live footage and sounds.

The room Mrs Waugh and Lady Beatrix Egerton occupy as they await their guests is a collage of domestic objects normally located in different parts of the Mansion. At the centre of the scene is a bowl of fresh roses, the focus of the piece. Through the window the Italian Garden can be seen, bringing live action into the composite of the sitting room.

Two voices bring us into the respective worlds of the house and garden: Marian Littler, the Mansion’s flower arranger, and gardener Peter Lofthouse. Both relate a minor aspect of the daily working of the house. Marian works closely with Peter who brings flowers in for her to arrange. Those working within the mansion appear to exist in a separate sphere to those working outside. The flowers bridge the two worlds.

 

The interior life of Tatton Park mansion alluded to as The Towers in Mrs Gaskell’s novel Wives & Daughters (1866) is a stifling class bound world of manners and etiquette where men have freedoms and privileges prohibited to women; the animation suggests this difference with the immobility of the interior spaces and the dynamism of the world outside.