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Corset

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Materials: Porcelain and embroidery
Dimensions: 35cm high x 35cm wide x 7cm deep
Description:
One of five pieces commissioned for NESA (North East Somerset Arts) for the Changes – Memory Palette reminiscence project. Work made for and inspired by a group of older people living in Radstock.

‘I can tell you a funny story about that. You know Mrs B.? …She is a year older than me so I was about 16 then and she was about 17 then. Where the Forum Cinema was, we used to go Thursday afternoons, Bath shut Thursday afternoons half day. The pictures, the middle of summer, it was boiling hot and Rose’s mother made her wear these corsets, well she was dead skinny with the pulled laces at the back you know like you see Victorian ones. (Rose said) ‘Oh I say ain’t it hot, I say my corsets is killing me.’ so I said ‘Well take em off’ so she took her stockings off we then went to the loo and she took these corsets off and we came back and sat in our seats and she said ‘What can I do with it?’ I said ‘Shove it down the back of the seat and leave it.’ Of course we shoved it down behind the seat and we then gradually moved a few rows out the way so it wasn’t anything to with us then, and then when it was time to go home and we went home. A few days later her mother said to her ‘can’t find your corset to wash our Rose, where is it?’ (and Rose said) ‘Oh I don’t know I expect I lost it’ (Rose’s mother said) ‘That’s that Pam Hills fault.’ So she came tearing down to my mother. ‘Is your Pam in?’ she said and my mum said ‘Yeh she’s upstairs’ or whatever. So she called me ‘What have you done with our Rose’s corsets?’(Said Rose’s mother) and I said ‘Well I haven’t got ‘em, I don’t know were they are.’ ‘That’s it’ she said ‘I knew she would get into trouble if you went to the pictures with her, running around with our Rose.’ Mind we been going about from this big up you know. My mother said ‘Well it’s nothing to do with our Pam if your Rose has lost her corsets is it? And honestly. …I’ll never forget’
Quote taken from conversation during reminiscence session with artist (names of characters have been changed).