Last month I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in the ARTiculation Speaker’s Prize. For this award I had to talk about a work of art I loved for approximately 10 minutes. I chose to discuss a portrait from the Romantic era which hangs in Chatsworth House. The painting by Maria Cosway is called Georgiana as Cynthia from Spenser’s Faerie Queen. I love this art work as it represents the female form in such a powerful pose, this was a rare approach to portraiture when painted in the 1780s.
My favourite part of ARTiculation was the research into the painting. I wrote to Chatsworth and uncovered lots of facts about Georgiana’s life and her decadent lifestyle as one of the richest women in Britain at that time.
The speaking event itself, although I was nervous, was very enjoyable as it gave me a chance to vocalise my feelings towards this painting and the emotions it evokes it me. It was also fascinating to hear the other participants’ choices of art and how their interests have influenced them. It was also interesting to discover more obscure artists that I hadn’t heard of before and see these artists presented from a unique viewpoint.
Overall the day was a great experience that I would really recommend, I also discovered new artists and artworks during our tour of the Ashmolean and I met new people who loved the same things I did.
But one of the best parts was the support I got from the college with both my classmates and teachers giving me the confidence to present my talk as well as I did.