New art exhibition showcases the women behind Wray Castle
Through a series of artistic installations and with input from local communities, we'll be tackling preconceptions surrounding Wray Castle's creator Margaret Dawson, and revealing more about Beatrix Potter's early years.
With a focus on the women who formed part of its history, 'The Women of Wray Castle: Convention and Control', will reveal the findings of our lengthy research project, disprove misconceptions about Wray’s equally mysterious creator Margaret Dawson, and shed light on the scientific work of Beatrix Potter, both of whom spent time in this unique and enigmatic place.
Through a series of 3D art installations, research material and local history items, we’ll be examining the context surrounding their lives as affluent women in the 19th century, including shared pride in their northern ancestry and their roles within the Cumbrian community. We’ll examine the difficulties Beatrix faced as an aspiring scientific researcher and Margaret’s unusual involvement in the construction of this neo-Gothic castle.
This immersive exhibition is linked to the Trust’s national theme of Women and Power in the 100th anniversary year of the beginning of female suffrage, and highlights the struggles and triumphs of these two influential women. Don’t miss the huge ‘Silk Stockings and Social Ladders’ board game in the drawing room, and stop to listen to interview clips about life as a modern woman from members of the Cumbria Girly Book Club. With artwork, audio recordings and photographs from over 500 people, we hope you’ll be inspired to leave your own contribution in the final exhibition room.
‘The Women of Wray Castle: Convention and Control’ runs from 3 March - 4 November 2018 (and weekends in November).