Following in the Footsteps of Joseph Hardman: Day TWO

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Day Two began with a PowerPoint presentation of the photographs taken on Day One and then a quick look at the collaged map to see that in the area around Kendal, the groups faces and photographs had been layered amongst those of Joseph Hardman – a really effective way of returning to the previous weeks experiences, focusing on location, seeing their own image. Laughter at the photography, particularly the feet, and the headless figures and Vic’s selfie of his fleece zip, and remembering songs we’d referred to – and then the taxi arrived and we were setting off to Rydal, with ipads and parasol!

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It was the most glorious day, brilliant vivid blue sky and sunshine. We stopped en route at the jetty at Lowood to take photographs across Windermere to the Langdales – a beautiful view of the mountains which looked stunning. And then on to Rydal Hall where we were to meet Delia Shaw, a favourite model of Mr Hardman, who took photographs of her at Rydal in 1948 when Delia was in her late teens. Now 84, we were to have afternoon tea with her, and have an opportunity to listen to her share her memories of that period in her life. Rydal is also where Wordsworth lived, and so Harriet Fraser from the Wordsworth Trust joined us with poetry, reading extracts from Dorothy’s journal and some beautiful poetry by the 17th century Japanese poet, Basho. Some memorable moments: Harriet reading poetry on the terrace, Annette peacefully absorbing the words, Ruth and Vic smiling with the parasol by the fountain, calling out Delia’s name across Dora’s Field…. A lovely feeling throughout the day that this is what the project is – reaching out across the years, touching the past, but so warmly and pleasurably located in the present.

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Afternoon tea, meeting Delia, shared stories, connections, sharing her photograph albums, more poetry. Then more photographs as we set off on our return journey and arrive back in Kendal enthused, invigorated and smiling.

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