‘Mary Ann’ Oil on Linen Canvas with Embroidery by Julia Hall
Mary Ann ( 1797- 1855)
Married to William son of Charlotte on 15th August 1820 at the age of 23. She and her family lived in Streat, Sussex for 48 years until her death. She had seven children (Mary, William, Henry, Emily, Arthur, Edward and Alfred) over the course of 15 years. In her father’s will she was left all his books and Under £20.( in comparison with the £4000 left to each of her brothers), and died at the age of 71 of ‘ Dropsical Effusion’.
Julia Hall is a UK based artist. In her latest series Common Thread , each work depicts a dress on a bare linen canvas rendered in oil paint and hand embroidery. The series is an exploration of the relationship between these 'High' and ' Low' art forms and the re-discovery of historically invisible women. Whilst the male and public art of oil painting has been celebrated, conserved and widely displayed across the centuries, sewing has been largely confined to a feminine, domestic sphere. Looking to her own family tree, Hall interrogates patriarchal lineage. She seeks to reclaim her female ancestors, from whom a piece of sewn art- a sampler, quilt or embroidered image- is sometimes the only remnant we have. Needlecraft, a skill passed from mother to daughter, forms an alternative matriarchal lineage threading it way down through the generations.