Sitters and their stories at Beningbrough

Visit Beningbrough during a very special four day art event in the hall where you're invited to join in the conversation and get involved with art as it is created.

See how portraits take shape

As part of the National Trust's Prejudice and Pride programme, we’re delighted to welcome award winning artist Tanya Raabe-Webber back to Beningbrough for a four day residency from Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 October 2017. During each afternoon Tanya will have conversations with four different people who are willing to share their diverse stories and experiences with the audience in the room whilst having their portrait created. It's a rare chance to see how artists develop the character of their sitter depicted in the final piece of art.

Get a sense of the event in this short video with audience participation, live painting, digital drawing and good conversation:

Who is being painted?

Following an invitation to apply and applications from Yorkshire and further afield, the four selected sitters all have a varied story to tell. Each with a different perspective of what diversity and freedom of expression means to them:

Thursday 12 October – Jeremy Hutchinson

Diversity to Jeremy means a total embracement of any kind of difference with fairness for all. He believes in aiming for a world where we are all just people, no labels. A world where everyone feels included, respected and appreciated as a person, an individual. Jeremy chooses to wear society labelled female clothing because he feels comfortable in it; preferring the brighter colours, character and personality the selection offers. He is looking forward to sharing his perspective and discussing freedom of choice and expression.

Friday 13 October – Louise 'Eliza' Gregory and Dorothy Cline

Dorothy and Louise (known as Eliza Gregory professionally) are mother and daughter, each have had their lives immersed in art and culture. Dorothy has always loved art yet never considered it to be a career path. She has led a busy life raising a family and working, leaving little time to pursue her own passions. Retirement has finally provided the much needed time and space to now do so, developing as a keen pastel artist. Maybe this is why daughter Louise sought to follow her dreams from the beginning, as a published poet and musician. Both believe in art as a way to be free and look to explore this in their conversations on how culture contributes to an individual’s freedom.

Saturday 14 October – Lisa Kelly

Lisa started life as Dave, growing up in a small Yorkshire town in the 1970s. She knew she was not male and faced bullying throughout her childhood. Lisa’s experience of transitioning from male to female has led her to her campaign work to raise awareness of transgender people. Today Lisa is co-chair of the York LGBT Forum and cares passionately about equality and diversity for everyone.

Sunday 15 October – Amy Watson

Amy is a 26 year old widow, mum to a four year old and lives in North Yorkshire. Through her life defining experiences she believes in living for the moment and has dedicated herself to equip her child to understand how one person can differ from another. During her husband’s illness and through her occupation as a nurse, she explores different cultural traditions and perspectives to provide a unique insight into common problems for example through Buddhism she found that the beauty of life is how it changes.

Sitters and their stories live portraiture
Sitters and their stories
Sitters and their stories live portraiture

The event is part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts inspired by the places we look after.

" Beningbrough Hall has much love within its walls, that has shaped it into the welcoming and special place that it is today for all. I was honoured and thrilled to have my portrait painted in such an amazing place"
- David Hoyle

What’s it all about?

During 2016, we were thrilled to be one of the first partners and locations for the national diversity arts project Portraits Untold. David Hoyle was the guest sitter with Tanya painting him as they discussed life experiences. Tanya works in an inclusive way and contributions from visitors in the room and online have made it to the final canvas. The portrait is on display in Beningbrough Hall during 2017. See the video from the day below to get a senses of how 'Sitters and their stories' might feel.



Portraits Untold at Beningbrough

During October 2016, the saloon at Beningbrough Hall played host to a brand new project, Portraits Untold. David Hoyle spent the day sitting for his portrait and discussing diversity and life experiences with artist Tanya Raabe-Webber.