November 10, 2019
‘Morris & Co Interiors’: presenting on David Parr
I was delighted to be selected, back in July of this year, to present a paper on David Parr for an autumn symposium organised by the National Trust and William Morris Society called ‘Morris & Co Interiors’. Taking place on 6 November 2019, it brought together ten speakers presenting on a diverse range of William Morris-related topics, covering everything from the legacy of Morris & Co. in heritage paint colours (Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable, the National Trust’s Head Curator) to the recent resurgence of William Morris patterns in British fashion (Penelope Hines, Curator) to the curious use of Morris & Co. textiles in Royal Navy vessels in the 1980s (David Mabb, Programme Leader MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths). Held at the Art Workers Guild in Holborn, the symposium saw a good turn-out of more than 100 attendees from across the arts world.
This was the first time I’d had the chance to publicly announce my upcoming book, David Parr: The Notebooks and House of a Victorian Decorative Artist (working title) – which will be published (if all goes to plan, of course) in late 2020 – and to present on my research so far and my planned research for the next few months. The audience response was overwhelmingly positive and engaged, which has bolstered my resolve to move full steam ahead with the project in the coming year. I like to think that my late great-great-grandfather’s ears were burning and that his chest was swelling with pride during my talk, in which I presented on his harsh early life, his incredible house and his fascinating career as a decorative artist in the late 1800s.
A big shout out to the organisers of the symposium, Dr Alice Strickland and Carien Kremer, who couldn’t have been more helpful or lovely. A positive experience all-round, and one that has made me think I’d like to do more public speaking – especially now that I’m reassured that my nerves are conquerable!