Gaskell House Blogs

Work Experience

26th February 2021
in blog, Volunteering

Hello, I’m George Parker-Conway, I’m an artist based in Manchester. I have been doing some work experience with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House online via Zoom facilitated by Venture Arts. I have found having sessions with Sally at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House for the past 8 weeks very interesting and insightful, learning about the life of Elizabeth Gaskell and her family.

Overall, I have really enjoyed exploring Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, looking at the different rooms and finding out what went on in each one. What I found really insightful was the research into Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. I found it really fun finding out new facts and learning about the house
and its occupants, and the guests that visited the house also.

I have also done some research into Elizabeth Gaskell through a book that I have got at home called ‘The Colour Library Book of Great British Writers’. In addition, I have also looked at the Gaskell family tree, which Sally shared with me in one of my sessions.

Furthermore, I attended an online talk run by Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on Zoom, which talked about the different artists who illustrated Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford novel. I found it enjoyable learning about the different illustrators that contributed, in terms of their style and different
interpretations of the text in front of them.

Finally, I decided to do some portraits of the Elizabeth Gaskell family members, because I like drawing faces. The reason I am attracted to portraiture is because of the way different angles of faces can suggest moods and emotions. For example, if a person is looking up, that can suggest happiness and positivity, whereas if the person’s head is looking down, it can suggest sadness or mourning. I also like the looks expressed in people’s eyes, for example they can show fear, anger, happiness or shock. I liked the idea of drawing the family members in my own way, so I used
images of their portraits that are displayed in the different rooms of the house.

Portraits by George Parker-Conway

Venture Arts is an award-winning visual arts charity based in Hulme, Manchester. They support people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential through arts and culture.
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And we've got a house. Yes! we really have

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1850