Nature = Nurture

Covent Garden

I was inspired to start this piece in 2018 whilst working the The Royal Opera House . Whilst having opening night drinks in the Royal Opera house Paul Hamlyn Hall the lighting designer I had been assisting their told me of how the area used to be the flower market and about the covent garden markets . It got me thinking about its rise to oppulence and how it is seen today. The Royal Opera was formed as the Covent Garden Opera Company in 1946, a few years after the area had suffered terrible destruction from WWII bombings. People lost there homes and there lives. The population, as in most of london suffered greatly but people pulled together to form a stronger community.

The quote I used on the piece is from ‘Vogue 100’ document 100 years of Vogue Magazine which was in print throughout the war and after helping to document the changes the country and indeed covent garden was going through.

“New Life – it spreads over the London scene like a dimly discerned haze. Ruins rise, and beauty has its second spring; the future holds equal hope and hazard, the grace of a ball dress, bright against the rubble and brave in the encompassing dark, is a symbol of our gradual return to a certain serenity of life” Renaissance, Vogue, June 1947

I have highlighted positive and important words using metallic stitches.

The lady depicted here is the picture that appears with this text, Whilst the picture of the market porter is also from this book and is dated 1951.

The flowers work to tie in the markets and the Royal Opera House with the tradition of presenting flowers on opening night. This image I took from a programme from a Covent Garden Opera Book I purchased from Ebay documenting ballets performed at the Royal Opera House from 1946 – 1947 and published by The Covent Garden Opera Trust.