Maureen Mace at the Tithe Barn
I have always been fascinated by Medieval Art, this section is my first stop when visiting any art gallery. I love the detail and the humour plus the patterns and vibrancy of the paintings and manuscripts from that time.
During Open Studios many years ago a newly qualified Cambridge tourist guide told me about the manuscripts at the Parker Library situated at Corpus Chisti, one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge. I booked on a tour and was enthralled by the library and the illustrated books at their exhibition. After chatting to the very knowledgable librarian on duty at the time, I asked if I could come along and draw from some of the books. He suggested I became a reader and sent me the application forms. Of course I could not fill in most of the information as it related to my tutor, my course and my area of interest but I did my best and was delighted to be accepted as a reader at this most venable place.
I have since visited and drawn from their various books and handled some of their most valuable manuscripts. I can't explain how much this has meant to me. Obviously I am not allowed to use paints but pencils, coloured pencils and sketchbooks have been my tools. These drawings have influenced my paintings which are now full of detail seen there and gold leaf highlights.
Another year I was chatting about my paintings to a visitor at Open Studios who was involved in the restoration of the Tithe Barn in Landbeach. The Barn dates from the Medieval Period and Matthew Parker was the vicar at the Landbeach Church next door before becoming the master at Corpus Christi. It was the same Matthew Parker who collected all the manuscipts at the Parker Library at Corpus Christi. The connections between the two places was entralling.
Now the Tithe Barn restoration is almost complete, I have been invited to exhibit my work in the Barn and the date has been set on 30 May which is the Bank Holiday weekend. The Tithe Barn is large so I will be sharing the space with some of the artists from Cambridge Drawing Society. I do hope you will come along and visit the exhibition and, like me, be fascinated by the history of this beautiful old building.