Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tattoo influenced work in Jèrriais

A few months back I had the opportunity to show some work in a local National Trust building, check out how beautiful the building is:


It's proper name is Le Don Hilton, but is known locally as "The White House".  It's a pretty special building simply because everyone has a real affection for it. It doesn't have a massively glamorous history, but it is such a part of our landscape and is a distinctive marker on a long stretch of beach, it's not unusual to say "meet you at St Ouens, near The White House", in the same way you might say "meet you by the old tree," it's just a marker that's always been there, for generations.

The building is hardly ever open to the public, so it was extra special to be allowed to show work inside it. I was one of a group of three, including my lovely friends Lisa Le Brocq and Beverley Speck.

"Homeward Bound" by Nanette Regan

The building has been used as a navigational aid by sailors for hundreds of years. Today it is one of the first distinctive glimpses of home that you can see from a plane as you fly into the island's airport. So I created three large prints, informed by traditional maritime tattoo imagery and incorporating phrases in Jèrriais, the indigenous language of the island.

"Hold Fast" by Nanette Regan

Visible from The White House is Corbiere Lighthouse, another local landmark. Once a boat passes the lighthouse the sea suddenly calms, which gave rise to an expression that translates as "We've passed Corbiere" meaning the most difficult times are behind you. I love this phrase, so bound up in local landscape and the maritime history of the island.

"We've passed Corbiere, the worst is over" by Nanette Regan

The show lasted three days and had a great reaction, I've never seen so many people flow through such a small space before! So many people stopped to tell us their own stories of the White House and their memories of spending time on the beach in the shadow of this lovely building. Thanks so much for the opportunity National Trust!

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