It is not everyday that I turn up to work looking a little like a queen. One of the 3 Armada portraits of Elizabeth I has arrived at the Museum and Gallery where I work. A painting that has stared out of a million history books. The iconic image of a Tudor Queen that is both familiar and yet never actually seen before. Sartorial comparisons may take a stretch of the imagination but to aid the process I took up a queenly pose while working.
While the Queen holds a globe to show how well Colonising was going, I am close a Barbara Hepworth sculpture because it was the only round thing available. In the Armada Portrait we do not see Elizabeth’s shoes but in a painting from a similar time I found her feet.
Elizabeth and I were both wearing predominantly black garments but with peach ribbons and statement necklaces.
Hers were statements of wealth, mine are the opposite. The Lanyard is a modern emblem of employment. My necklace is home made from recycled beads. The thing they have in common is that both my lanyard and plastic beads and Elizabeth’s pearls and silk ribbons are made from traded goods, mine possibly more ethically traded than hers. Which brings us to the backgrounds of both our pictures. In Elizabeth’s picture there are painted scenes of Francis Drakes victory over the Spanish. In my picture the background is filled with objects from the permanent collection of The Box, Plymouth. Without the British victory the world and this wall of acquisitions would look very different today. Below is a link to an explanation of the Armada events
Strange how far Pondering over peach ribbons and beads can take me. Coincidences can be a wonderful thing.