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ART FIX: A decade of Georgian flair thanks to a £1m gift

ART FIX: A decade of Georgian flair thanks to a £1m gift

Friday 05 November 2021

ART FIX: A decade of Georgian flair thanks to a £1m gift

Friday 05 November 2021

A New Street house, which was restored to its Georgian glory thanks to a £1m gift in an islander's will, is celebrating 10 years of taking visitors back to Regency Jersey.

Every Friday, Express presents a selection of online and offline exhibitions, performances, workshops, events and other historic, creative and delicious content to help islanders get their weekly dose of culture.

Here's this week's offering...

Happy 10th Anniversary 16 New Street!

16 New Street opened its doors to the public 10 years ago after undergoing a complete refurbishment.

To mark the occasion, the National Trust for Trust is hosting a free open day tomorrow (Saturday 6 November) between 10:00 and 16:00.

Islanders will not only be treated to behind-the-scenes tours of the Georgian House’s three floors but also to refreshments and a slice of birthday cake. 

Louisa, the cook/housekeeper, will be on duty all day in the Georgian kitchen demonstrating how to make Georgian beauty products and remedies – and there will be a display of Georgian food in the dining room.

“For those who have never visited 16 New Street before, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore all three floors of The Georgian House, meet some of the team who were involved with the restoration and view some early images of the house – before and during its restoration,” the team said.

Video: The story of 16 New Street.

Having started its life as part of a speculative development initiated by the Durell family, the house epitomised early Georgian taste with its fine panelled interiors and detailing.

However, by 1812 architectural fashions had changed and the new owners of the house, the Journeaux family, refurbished the building to reflect the new Regency style, replacing all the windows at the front of the house, along with window sills and door casings, shortening the roof, and installing a fine marble fire surround in the drawing room. 

As a result of the bankruptcy of Phillipe Journeaux in 1850, the property was acquired by the firm of A. de Gruchy & Co. It then became a letting house before being taken on by the Liberty Gentlemen’s Club. The Club removed partitions on the first floor of the house in order to install their billiard tables. 

When the Liberty Gentlemen’s Club departed in 1909, the Jersey Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) moved in, removing further partition walls for their snooker and table tennis tables.

Pictured: The Georgian House 20 years ago.

By the 1970s, the building had fallen into decline. 20 years ago, as it was in a perilous state of repair, conservation organisation Save Jersey’s Heritage stepped in to save the building ehen it became apparent the owners wanted to demolish it to develop the site.

In 2003, 16 New Street was transferred to the Trust for the princely sum of £1. With no funds available to restore the building, the Trust’s initial intention was to make the building wind and watertight to prevent the delicate fabric from deteriorating any further. However, in 2004 the building’s long-term future was secured when the Trust received a £1 million bequest from the late Mollie Houston, which facilitated the complete repair of the house as well as securing the future of the nearby Foot Buildings.

This year, as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations, the National Trust for Jersey hosted a programme of Georgian-themed events focusing on the era’s cuisine, arts, and gruesome justice system.

Pictured: The Georgian Kitchen at 16 New Street.

Later this month, the house will be decked out with wreaths, garlands and traditional decorations for Christmas. On 20 November, between 10:00 and 16:00, Louisa, the resident cook, will be preparing festive treats in the Georgian Kitchen, and visitors will get to admire the magnificent Twelfth Cake in the Dining Room and enjoy the Trust’s ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ trail throughout the house.

On 7 December, the Trust’s Living History team will host a nostalgic Christmas Candlelit Tour of 16 New Street, with traditional Georgian refreshments served on arrival and live music upstairs in the drawing room. 


Sparklers and roman candles in St. Martin

The Gorey Fete Committee will be hosting the St. Martin’s bonfire and fireworks display tomorrow (Saturday 6 November) in the field opposite St. Martin’s School.

The gates will open at 18:00 with the bonfire being lit up at 18:30.

The results of the free Guy Fawkes building competition will then be announced at 19:30 ahead of the Grand Fireworks Finale at 20:30.

Entry is £3 for children and £6 for anyone over 16. 

Proceeds from the event will go to Headway Jersey, a charity which provides free support, information and services to people with a brain injury, as well as their families and carers.


Bringing colour to the "darkest of times"

There are only a few days left to discover the colourful paintings of Christian Robertson at the Harbour Gallery.

‘Invisible Vision’ concludes on Sunday 7 November and the St. Aubin-based gallery is open from 10:00 to 17:00 every day.

Speaking about the series of paintings on display, Christian said they depict the eyes and faces he felt were taunting him as he was going through mental health difficulties.

“I painted these in my darkest of times in the brightest of colours, rapidly I drew out the pain,” he added. 

Turquoise and neon pink colours which feature heavily in Christian’s works, as he explained he finds himself drawn to them.

“My process involves rapid and instinctive drawing with figures having prominent eyes and teeth often in threatening poses,” he said. “I felt inhabited by these beings. Through painting these depictions of these demons, I momentarily stilled the voices. 

“Art brings moments of calm and a purpose. It could be said that these paintings trapped the experience of paranoia." 

Supported by local mental health charity, Mind Jersey, in his recovery, Christian has pledged to donate 20% of all the exhibition sales in recognition of their services.


Eisteddfod returns!


Pictured: Beaulieu students at work on their performance.

The Eisteddfod Festival of the Performing Arts is up and running again.

This year, the Music Section will run from Monday 8 to Saturday 13 November 2021 at Chateau Vermont in St. Saviour, while the English Speech and Drama section will take place from Monday 22 to Saturday 27 November at the Jersey Arts Centre. The Dance Section will take place next year in February. 

“We are delighted to host our Music Section of the Festival at the Vermont Hall, a beautiful setting and one we believe is well suited to engaging chamber performances where musicians can communicate directly with their audiences in a shared appreciation and celebration of effort and talent,” the team behind the festival said.

“We are sorry not to welcome large groups of singers or players this year or our Signing friends and we will miss the Opera House experience, but we are sure that our soloists and ensembles will be able to give relaxed and enjoyable performances for our two adjudicators, Caroline Diffley and Elizabeth Hayley.”

Arts Centre

Pictured: The English Speech and Drama section will take place at Jersey Arts Centre.

A record number of primary school children will be making their first appearance in the English Speech and Drama section. In the first festival since lockdown, 238 primary school children have entered classes for first-time entrants compared with 162 in 2019 and 15 young actors between the ages of 13 and 18 will compete for the first-ever Young Actor of the Year Award, which will be chosen at the Speech and Drama gala evening on 27 November. 

“It is so wonderful to see that so many primary schools are keen to give their students the chance to build confidence and share their love of speaking poetry by heart, particularly after the cancellation of last year’s Eisteddfod,” the Chairman of the Speech and Drama section, Pat Sabey, said. “We are also very excited that so many teenagers have entered our new Young Actor of the Year competition and look forward to an exciting final.”

To comply with covid-19 guidelines, audience numbers for the week of classes held at the Jersey Arts Centre will be limited. 

Pictured: The music section will take place in Chateau Vermont, home of the Jersey Academy of Music.

Michael Blackie, the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Jersey Eisteddfod, said that they were delighted the event was once again taking place and that it has attracted such interest. 

“We remain indebted to Butterfield for their continued sponsorship and also extend our thanks to the Jersey Community Foundation, supported by the Channel Islands Lottery,” he said.

Noel McLaughlin, Managing Director of Butterfield in Jersey, added: “The Jersey Eisteddfod is a fantastic opportunity for students across the island to showcase their talents in the highly renowned Festival that has stood the test of time. We welcome the return of this year’s Eisteddfod and look forward to celebrating the success of the entrants.”


Marvellous moustaches

As many grow their moustaches this month to raise awareness of men's health issues, as part of Movember, Jersey Heritage has shared a series of photos of "marvellous moustaches" from the island's history.

"We hope these examples of fantastic facial hair from our collections provide some inspiration," the team wrote on Facebook. 

Missed last week's Art Fix? Catch up HERE.

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