‘Re-Visioning the Brontës’ conference was an inspiring day with a rich diverse range of speakers who have sited the Brontës and their legacy as an influence on their work. The day began with a deeply moving, evocative music and film piece, ‘Air on Brontë Moor’ by David Wilson and Simon Warner. It was great to meet up with Teresa Whitfield whose work is exhibited with ‘Charlotte’s Dress’ in ‘Wildness Between Lines’ at Leeds College of Art, and also Jenna Holmes, the contemporary art officer at the Parsonage, who initially made my project possible. After delivering my paper I felt so thrilled with the positive comments and dialogue it generated between the other speakers and attendees.
Professor Ann Sumner, the new Executive Director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum and the Brontë Society, made an illuminating closing speech summarising all the speakers papers and said of my piece:
“The contemporary artist Lisa Sheppy gave an account of what had inspired her piece ‘Charlotte’s Dress’, currently on display in the ‘Wilderness Between the Lines’ exhibition at the Leeds College of Art. It was an early childhood visit to the Parsonage and memories of her mother’s professional dressmaking days that had given her the initial idea for the piece. To hear directly from an artist about her creative process was inspiring, and seeing her sketches from her study visit to Haworth and learn about the makers who had added to that vision and enabled her to produce this striking work was illuminating, but also caused one to reflect on the strong influence of her mother on the piece, while Charlotte Bronte had lost her own mother young.”
The summary of all the papers is available to view on the Brontë Parsonage Blog:
Thank you to Nick Cass, Liz Stainforth and Rachel Cunningham Clark for selecting my paper to be included in the conference and their excellent organization of a such an enriching day.