Jane Austen was born on the 16 December 1775 in Steventon in Hampshire. In 2015 the 16 December was officially declared to be Jane Austen Day.
I have spent a while trying to think of an interesting post to mark this day. I did consider completing an essay on all I know about Jane Austen and her books, however I would probably only be re-hashing what others have written before me. I have given it some considerable thought and eventually I decided upon featuring some artwork that has been inspired by Jane Austen or her books.
I am fascinated by Grayson Perry’s artwork. I really do have a thing for ceramics and his work is always so tactile.
In 2009 Grayson Perry completed a piece of work entitled “Jane Austen in E17”. It is a large vase decorated with pictures of Georgian ladies conversing and taking tea. This is supposed to show an ideal view of British culture portrayed through various costume dramas of Jane Austen’s novel. Behind those images the vase also incorporates cuttings from celebrity magazines, as will as crime and surveillance from around Grayson’s studio in London’s E17.
I had never heard of the artist Graham Short until he was mentioned on the news last December. Once I looked him up though I did recognise some of his art work. He engraves tiny things and is known as a micro-artist.
Graham Short had engraved 4 of the newly issued polymer £5 notes with a tiny portrait of Jane Austen. This of course made these 4 £5 notes considerably more valuable than normal £5 notes and caused months of searching for them. I think they have all been found now.
In July the Royal Mint launched the new £10 note which features Jane Austen in pride of place.