Marking a wonderful legacy
AS a family we have celebrated my mother’s 100th birthday, a wonderful, joyous and entirely appropriate set of festivities.
It set me thinking about ways of celebrating people’s lives, who they are,and the memories associated with journeying with them or learning about them.
We have one piece in the Open Archive that does just that.
Dr Cathy Corbishley-michel has designed and made a hanging about Edward Adrian Wilson, the Antarctic explorer who began his life in Cheltenham.
Cathy is a scientist with a passion for textile arts.
She works at St George’s Hospital in London where Edward Wilson trained to be a medical doctor in 1895-98 and became fascinated and inspired by his life and work.
The hospital hosted a celebration of Wilson’s work in 2017 which The Wilson was able to assist with.
Afterwards Cathy kindly set to work to make us a hanging as a lasting memory of the exhibition.
She has called the hanging:dr Edward Wilson: From Cheltenham to Antarctica, July 2018, and made it using yanotype printing, with machine pieced, cotton organdie pieces.
As you can see in the picture it is in shades of blue. It looks really dramatic hung in the Open Archive.
Cathy worked with us to select the images and we chose to put Cheltenham to the forefront, then trace Wilson’s time at Cambridge, St George’s (using the hospital’s own Wilson picture) and finally in Antarctica.
I’d like to think Edward Wilson would be pleased with it, but he was a very humble and modest man and any fuss about his life and achievements would be a source of some embarrassment.
He preferred thanks to go to his creator and time and effort to go towards those who were less fortunate or towards appreciating nature and the environment.
He was one of the first to recognise conservation of natural species was essential and founded the first movement to protect penguins who were being caught to harvest their oil.
He saw that overfishing was an issue and that people had a detrimental effect on the planet, all too often leaving an unhelpful footprint.
We have this lovely hanging thanks to Cathy Corbishley-michelm but Wilson’s own legacy is far greater.
Come and have a look at the displays in the Open Archive to find out more,and watch this space – it is Wilson’s birthday on July 23 and we will be celebrating in style.
We are getting some practice in before his 150th birthday in 2022 when we are planning some very exciting things.
The Open Archive is open whenever the museum is – Tuesday-saturday 9.30am-5.15pm, Thursday 9.30am-7.45pm, Sunday 9.45am-5.15pm.
For information on all events, visitcheltenhammuseum.org.uk or follow on Facebook and Twitter at @Thewilsonchelt.
The wall hanging, Dr Edward Wilson: From Cheltenham to Antarctica, by Cathy Corbishleymichel