I came to Hawkwood with a suitcase filled with bells, embroidery silks and trimmings. I also had a pile of books on folk customs and traditions of the Cotswold, and a loose idea that I would begin work on. It was a costume for a calendric project entitled; A Year of Folk Hedonism. I also hoped to have time to expand The Mock Morris, a project started for Enchanted Environments (a conference held at Worcester University).
What I didn’t anticipate was quite how inspirational Hawkwood and the surrounding countryside would be. Over the week both projects evolved into a shape I never would have imagined pre my time at Hawkwood. I was able to immerse myself in researching and making an entire costume. I came away having not only made the costume but a film and series of photographs too.
I found wonderful connections between the place and the projects I was wanting to create. One connection was that nearby Painswick is home to the most Ancient bell ringing association in the UK. These strange coincidences wove their way into my research and will only continue to inspire me now I am home. They will feed their way into the wider project.
The landscape, and enriching environment of Hawkwood, were deeply inspiring. Having the time and space to breath, read, walk and, sometimes, just be is incredibly important but so hard often, to achieve. I’m incredibly grateful to Hawkwood for facilitating this.
Full credit to Lally Macbeth and with thanks to the DCMS & Arts Council England for their funding.
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