In February I received the wonderful news that Arts Council England are going to fund my project 'Botanical Bentley' through their Grants in Aid scheme. Since then I have been working very closely with Bentley Priory Museum to deliver the creative project, delving into their collection and exploring the building to discover botanical symbols and floral motifs that form part of the site's heritage.
Whilst the Museum primarily tells the story of the Battle of Britain, the building and surrounding grounds have a rich history beyond World War Two. Through 'Botanical Bentley', I will be shining a spotlight on how the landscape gardens changed according to fashions of the 18th and 19th century. I will also examine the use of floral symbols in military uniform and medals.
I absolutely adore researching new projects! It gives me an excuse to focus on intriguing details often overlooked and it can be a very inspiring to re-examine the familiar with fresh eyes. Here are just a few snaps from my first site visit and images from my research trip to Kew Archives.
Images reproduced with kind permission of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.