Creative Force Welcomes The Great, Great Niece of Marianne North To Hastings

1 marianne north painting

Creative Force is delighted to be welcoming Christine Blakemore, the Great, Great Niece of the intrepid adventurer, botanist and artist Marianne North, to open its ‘Discovering Marianne North’ event on Thursday 20th September with her presentation, ‘The Making of a Flower Painter’.

Part of the ‘Exploring Marianne North’ project, the day-long event will begin with Marianne’s early life and her travels in Europe.  It will continue with a presentation about her travels across the globe, her magnificent gallery and works at the Botanic Gardens, Kew and their painstaking restoration. It will culminate with a look at her final journey abroad in Chile, where she fulfilled her great wish to see and paint the Monkey Puzzle trees. 

Through the ‘Exploring Marianne North’ project, East Sussex based company Creative Force, is making links into the community, endeavouring to raise awareness of this intrepid woman who began her life at North Lodge (now Marianne House) on the Old London Road in Hastings.

To date the project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has undertaken a week-long intensive artist’s residency working with every child in the Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, which sits next door to Marianne’s birthplace.  A fine gallery of pictures, inspired by Marianne’s life and works, was created and displayed by the children at their school. At the Great Exhibition event on 25th May, the children and their parents were joined by Amber Rudd, MP, the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Nigel Sinden and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor James Bacon. Marianne North herself even made an appearance!

A series of presentations ‘Introducing Marianne North’ took place during May from which a group of 10 women from Hastings was recruited to research and discover more about Marianne. Their research, deliciously illustrated by her paintings, has been compiled into a booklet, ‘Travelling with Marianne North’, to give readers a taste of her experiences.  The free booklet will be available from September 2018.

September will be a busy month with the opening of a new exhibition at the History House on 4th September to run throughout September, a Victorian Day dedicated to Marianne at Bohemia Walled Garden Heritage Open Day on 16th September, and the Discovering Marianne North at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery on 20th September.

The project can be followed online at