Mark­ing a won­der­ful legacy

Gloucestershire Echo - - NOT JUST HISTORY -


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, vis­itchel­tenham­mu­ or fol­low on Facebook and Twit­ter at @Thewil­sonchelt.


The wall hang­ing, Dr Ed­ward Wil­son: From Chel­tenham to Antarc­tica, by Cathy Cor­bish­leymichel

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