The current exhibition at the Jane Austen’s House Museum at Chawton is a fascinating project, the development of which I have been following, fascinated,  on-line for some time.  Entitled Under the Influence, it showcases a series of works produced by design students of the Farnham University of Creative Arts, all of which have been inspired by the special atmosphere of Jane Austen’s house and garden. It will last until the 10th September 2010.

According to the exhibition’s website (which is fascinating: do explore it for the  insights it gives into the creative process as experienced by some of the artists):

The aim of the project is to use the house and garden as a creative space and respond artistically to a sense of place. Using the museum collection and taking inspiration from Jane Austen’s life and novels, students will explore these aspects and develop contemporary artworks as a dialogue with the museum. We want to support up and coming local designers to produce artworks to sell and exhibit in summer 2010 at Jane Austen’s House Museum.

Here are two of the pieces of work inspired by the house and now on show there.

The first is a fabulous necklace, inspired by Catherine Morland’s resounding declaration for Bath in Northanger Abbey: “Oh Who could ever be tired of Bath ?” ( and please do click on it to enlarge the photograph in order to see the detail)

and this bravura ceramics piece, placed on the dining table nestling among Edward Austen Knight’s Wedgwood china.

I’m hoping to make my pilgrimage to Hampshire later in the summer to see this exhibit along with the Winchester Cathedral Exhibit on Jane Austen’s life. If I do mange to get there I will of course report back. But in the meantime I hope you enjoy this preview.