Yesterday we returned again to Elizabeth Gaskell's House at 84 Plymouth Grove for the third in our series of drawing and photography workshops as part of the Ruskin Celebrations that are taking place across the city this year, in memory of Ruskin's birth.
Images from our workshops will be part of the upcoming exhibition at the house: “My Dear Mr Ruskin….” Friendship, Inspiration and Scandal, John Ruskin and the Gaskell family will open in July 2019 at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, exploring the friendship between The Gaskell family and John Ruskin in a new year-long exhibition as part of The Ruskin Bicentenary.
We walked from St Lukes down Devonshire Street in the heat of the middle of the day and wove our way through Swinton Grove Park to get to the house. We really noticed the difference between walking on the pavement with the heat of the sun bouncing off the buildings and the road and walking into the cool shade of the park where the air quality changed immediately and we all felt more comfortable.
Arriving at Elizabeth Gaskell's House we walked through the garden to see what had changed since we were last there - and lots has changed! Lots of flowers had finished, and new flowers were in their full glory, it is looking stunning!
We were met by Ellie who welcomed us in and we began our drawing workshop looking closely, soaking up the atmosphere and using our new drawing skills as a way to give our full attention to our environment. We discussed how it felt to be in the different rooms and we noticed the acoustics of the rooms - the traffic sounded so far away it sounded more like the ebb and flow of the seashore. We all felt settled and quiet and thoroughly enjoyed spending this time together looking and sketching. Here are some of our sketches, we hope they capture some essence of the house for you: