Monday, 27 July 2009

Port Eliot: through the window


Got back last night from Cornwall, and a good time was had by all. I did a bit of guest-blogging on Saturday over at dovegreyreader, so you could catch up with the festival there. This is dovegrey's picture of my event in the round room, taken from outside, because she couldn't get in, which was a shame, but I do like the photograph.
I have eaten lots of whitebait and chips from the seafood stall at Port Eliot, sustained my strength late into the night with Snickers bars, caught up with old friends (Kate Summerscale, William Fiennes), made a new friend (Hari Kunzru), and met an all-time fashion heroine -- Barbara Hulanicki -- who was creating sparkly space age outfits for festival goers, alongside inspired hats by Stephen Jones. I remember being taken by my mum to Biba when I was a little girl, and she used to buy clothes there, first from the Biba boutique in Kensington Church Street, and then from the big emporium on Kensington High Street. I think it was there, at the age of five, sitting in the changing room beneath a cloud of feather boas, watching my mum try on a pink and purple striped mini-dress, that I realized the potency of fashion...
Anyway, many thanks to everyone who came to see me at Port Eliot, and to everyone who made it into such a magically diverse and engaging weekend, particularly Peregrine and Catherine St Germans, who have opened their house and garden to all of us, with magical consequences.
More to come, but must get on with Chanel for the rest of the day...

6 comments:

Lazywell said...

Well done Justine; you were terrific. I felt privileged to be in the audience for such an engaging and refreshing performance. And fortunate too, as I saw that a long queue of unlucky folk had to be turned away.

What a very curious room though. I managed to have a snoop at some of the rest of the house and was hugely taken by its shabby charm (in the chicest and most atmospheric sense of that term), its faded but characterful wall coverings, its remarkable but subtly unprepossessing collection of pictures. In contrast, the mural in the Round Room, while obviously and deliberately provocative, struck me as so incongruous and vulgar in the context of this magical place as to be gravely ill-judged. Soane must be turning in his grave.

That was my only gripe. The festival - my first - was a treat and an adventure from A to Z.

Justine Picardie said...

Thank you for your kind comments, which are much appreciated. As for the Robert Lenkiewicz mural: well, it is certainly unusual, but then Port Eliot has always allowed room for eccentricities. And Lenkiewicz's embalmed tramp came long before Damien Hirst's shark, so I suppose he'd already beaten the YBAs at their own game in the creation of Sensation.

enid said...

Do get One Art - the selected letters of Elizabeth Bishop. It is a glorious read and one of my favourite books.

kevinhil123 said...

you are right lazywell.... justin is really terrific. :)

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