To commemorate the 300th anniversary of Deal born poet and member of The Bluestocking Society, Elizabeth Carter, a celebration of her vitality and relationship to the town.
Stirred by the unexpected acquisition of The Memoirs of the Life of Mrs Elizabeth Carter with poems by Rev. Montagu Pennington, and curiously typed 19th century letters from her relatives regarding her portrait in Deal Town Hall, a site-specific tableau of found research material, moving-image and texts in the Town Hall Chamber was presented alongside an exhibition by historian, Pat Smith about ‘Deals Daughter’.
The English term “bluestocking” evolved in the mid-to-late 1700s. Elizabeth Carter wrote of the society: “As if the two sexes had been in a state of war, the gentlemen ranged themselves on one side of the room, where they talked their own talk, and left us poor ladies to twirl our shuttles, and amuse each other, by conversing as we could. By what little I could overhear, our opposites were discoursing on the old English poets, and this subject did not seem so much beyond a female capacity but that we might have been indulged with a share of it.”
Working with year 7 + 8 pupils from Goodwin Academy, Deal, Kent on an Onomatopoeia Workshop inspired by Carter, students used a specially designed WORKBOX to recreate the image and sound of the sea of the found postcards displayed of Deal using ink and parchment. Completed drawings, were then transformed into an atmospheric representation of the ‘rough seas’ as a stop motion animation titled ‘Rough C’ with sounds from the workshops arranged by Joe Reeves screened inside the Committee Room with a silent reading poem of Carter’s Written Extempore on the Sea for visitors to take away.
At Deal Pier a display of letterpress flags were hoisted for two weeks before the Deal Town Hall Heritage Weekend 2017 to celebrate Carters unsung relationship with the sea. All the materials displayed have been donated and archived for future use and reference by Deal Town Hall.
The project was supported by A Woman’s Place, Deal Town Hall, Goodwin Academy and Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London