Connecting with Edwin’s optical amusement

Annabel Galpin and her daughter Louise were in New Plymouth earlier this year for the WOMAD festival. They also made time to go and see at first hand Edwin Harris’s optical amusement, the view of new Plymouth 3 august 1860 that has collaged figures and carefully cut openings (windows, doors, tents, moon) through which actual light falls from the LED lightsource behind the restored painting. Annabel sent us the following account of their experience:

In March 2019 my daughter Louise and I were visiting New Plymouth and took the opportunity to view Edwin Harris’s’ painting New Plymouth Under Siege purchased by the TSB Bank in 2008. The painting is a view from Marsland Hill and shows British troops of the recently arrived 40th Regiment, along with women and children, near St Mary’s Church.

It was with great anticipation and excitement after making an appointment with Phil Ramsdale from the TSB Bank that we were ushered into a small room for the viewing. Louise and I were not disappointed and were actually quite overwhelmed to see my great-great-grandfather’s and her great-great-great-grandfather’s beautifully framed and restored artwork with all the background lights on, emphasising the homes and tents…….  a very special time for us both.

[Photo: Annabel Galpin and daughter Louise, New Plymouth 18 March 2019]

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