Feeds:
Posts
Comments

A fabulous four days of Virginia Woolf in the company of Woolfians from around the world ended today.

And as we all scatter to various parts of the globe, we look forward to connecting again next year for the 29th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and Social Justice at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 6-9, 2019.

Blogging Woolf’s tweets from the last two days are below, along with a message from The Woolf Project.

Note from The Woolf Project coordinator Emma Bainbridge thanking conference-goers for their help in creating a crocheted and knitted chair cover that will be reworked into blankets for Knit for Peace.

Advertisements

Virginia Woolf knitted. Vanessa Bell crocheted. And we are doing both at #Woolf2018.

V Woolf knitting portrait

Vanessa Bell painting of Woolf knitting in an armchair

The 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at Woolf College at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, includes the Woolf Project. And like the theme of the conference — Virginia Woolf, Europe, and Peace — the Woolf Project focuses on peace as well.

Woolf knitting

It reimagines Bell’s portrait of Woolf knitting in an armchair by covering it with pieces knitted and crocheted by conference-goers and University of Kent staff.

Throughout the conference, participants are picking up knitting needles and crochet hooks and choosing yarn from a basket full of colorful skeins and balls to fashion squares and other shapes. These are being joined together to cover an armchair placed in the midst of the conference space.

Knit for Peace

Once the conference is over, the chair cover will be taken apart by Emma Brainbridge of Kent, who has overseen the project, and transformed into blankets for the charity Knit for Peace.

knitting is the saving of life – Virginia Woolf

The Woolf Project in action

A variety of yarn,, hooks, and needles are available for conference-goers to pick up and use.

Emma Bainbridge of Kent with the armchair in its nearly complete cover, complete with accessory pillow.

The Woolf Project armchair covered in crocheted and knitted squares and other shapes created by conference-goers.

Even the back of the armchair is covered with handwork of many colors, shapes, and designs.

On day one of #Woolf2018 at the University of Kent in Canterbury there were lots of choices. The program for the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf offers six different panels of experts in the morning and another six in the afternoon. I believe I chose well.

Here are the two excellent panels I picked Thursday, along with twitter reports on them, as well as the keynote lecture from Claire Davison of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3 on “European Peace in Pieces? Woolf, Music and the Radiophonic Imagination.”

Apologies for not having the energy to write more and for such dim photos. The rooms in which the panels were held were dimly lit to allow for slides.

Woolfian Artists

  • Ane Thon Knutsen (Oslo National Academy of The Arts), ‘Reading Woolf from the Type Case Perspective: Finding Artistic Freedom through “The Mark on The Wall”’
  • Adriane Little (Western Michigan), ‘Virginia Woolf Was Here’
  • Luz Novillo-Corvalán (UNC, Argentina) ‘Portraits of Radical Women: From Anaï​s Nin to Virginia Woolf’ Note: Luz also created the conference graphic.

Propaganda and the Press

  • Judith Allen (Pennsylvania), ‘Intersections: Propaganda and Just War Theory’
  • Trudi Tate (Cambridge), ‘Virginia Woolf and The Times: Lies, War, and Democracy’
  • Lois J. Gilmore (Bucks County), ‘“Authors Take Sides”: Art, Writing, and Peace’

Vita and Virginia. That was the focus of pre-conference events on #DallowayDay, the day before the start of the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

About 58 Woolf fans boarded a bus at the University of Kent and headed toward two former homes of Vita Sackville-West, where Woolf visited her friend and lover.

We spent the day touring Knole, the ancestral home of the Sackvilles and Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, where Vita and Harold Nicolson created a vast world-renowned garden. The National Trust owns and manages both.

Here are some photos from the beautiful, warm, sun-filled day.

Conference attendees arrive at Knole, originally built as an archbishop’s palace but given to the Sackville family in 1603.

Looking through the Knole gate

View from the rooftop of Knole.

Another rooftop view

The orangerie where the Sackvilles once grew oranges and lemons and later stored their cast-offs. It is being refurbished.

On the Knole tour

View of Sissinghurst from the tower after climbing its 78 steps.

Looking back through the archway as we enter Sissinghurst.

The tower where Vita’s personal study is located. It is filled with the room’s original books and furnishings. A portrait of Virgina sits on the desk.

The white garden, a spot where Vita and Harold liked to sit at night over dinner, with the whiteness of the flowers helped illuminate the night.

Closeup in the white garden

Rooftop view of Sissinghurst Gardens

An unusual black flower in the garden

Pink roses climbing up a sun-washed wall

This unusual flower near the archway prompted visitors to stop to take a photo.

Flowers growing up and around a wall structure.

 

Woolfians from around the world are converging on Canterbury, England this week for the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf with its theme of Virginia Woolf, Europe and Peace.

“[E]ven compared with Florence and Venice there is no lovelier place in the world than Canterbury,” Woolf wrote.

Play along as we track Virginia Woolf’s journey to the conference. Then stay tuned for more. #travelswithvirginiawoolf

4FCF0C74-DC72-43FC-9614-AF31B0CADE62

Virginia Woolf travels by train from London’s St. Pancras station to Canterbury.

Woolf at Kent

Virginia admires the brochure for the University of Kent’s Woolf College, which is named after her.

Virginia grounds herself in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer as she visits the bronze statue dedicated to him two years ago along Canterbury’s High Street.

When I’m in England, many things I see have a connection to Virginia Woolf.

Yesterday, Lois Gilmore and I took a double decker bus tour of the city, passing the sights that meant so much to Woolf and her novels.

Of Woolf and words

Many of the sites we saw — from Westminster to the Cenotaph to the Tower Bridge to the River Thames — reminded us of Woolf and brought quotes from her writing to mind.

By afternoon, we made a long-anticipated visit to the Churchill War Rooms, where Churchill and his wartime staff planned and carried out the British response to Hitler and World War II.

From war to peace

Afterwards, I realized that visiting the war rooms was a fitting finale to my London trip before heading to the University of Kent in Canterbury tomorrow for the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf with its theme of “Virginia Woolf, Europe and Peace.”

Ironic and perfect all at once.

At the Churchill War Rooms

I’m accustomed to drinking in Virginia Woolf. I imbibe her words and her wisdom on a regular basis. But last night I drank her in from a cocktail glass.

The Bloomsbury Club Bar in the Bloomsbury Hotel on London’s Great Russell Street features cocktails named after members of the Bloomsbury Group — from Virginia to Leonard to Vanessa and more.

After Frida Kahlo

After a day viewing the amazing Frida Kahlo exhibit, “Making Herself Up” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Lois Gilmore and I headed to the hotel’s celebrated bar for a Bloomsbury cocktail. She chose Lytton Strachey. I chose Virginia, a yummy mix of gin, lemon, raspberry shrub, Cocchi Americano and egg white.

The Sitting Room in the Bloomsbury Hotel

First, though, we stopped to warm up in The Sitting Room, a cozy first-floor lounge with a welcoming fireplace, walls hung with portraits of Bloomsbury Group members, and a copy of Frances Partridge’s book, The Bloomsbury Group, prominently placed on the fireside coffee table.

Suggestions to hotel management: Identify the subjects and artists of the reproductions on your walls. Even two Woolf scholars were kept guessing at a few. And provide a safe, child-friendly lounge for your guests with youngsters. A room with an open gas fire whose name — The Sitting Room — promises a relaxed adult retreat is not quite the place for noisy toddlers who don’t sit still for long and their bulky strollers.

At the Dalloway Terrace

Last year I had lunch at the hotel’s Dalloway Terrace, which pays homage to Woolf and her 1925 novel specifically. Its outdoor venue is charming and the food delicious — although I can’t remember what I ordered beyond my dessert, a delectable hot chocolate mousse.

However, Blogging Woolf contributor Kaylee Baucom wrote a detailed review of her trips to the restaurant a year earlier.

Both venues at the Bloomsbury Hotel are worth a trip for Woolf fans. You can decide for yourself whether you want to go back for more. Kaylee votes yes. I say move on to new adventures.

Looking down on the Dalloway Terrace

Desserts at the Dalloway Terrace, including a hot chocolate mousse.

 

Virginia Woolf looks over the Dalloway Terrace menu that pays homage to her most famous character, Mrs. Dalloway.

Warm woolen blankets kill the chill of a crisp London night on the Dalloway Terrace.

%d bloggers like this: