Facebook message led to a special tribute exhibition to an Ifold artist

Jackie Harding with some of her mother's work at the exhibition
Jackie Harding with some of her mother's work at the exhibition

A chance message spotted on Facebook has resulted in a tribute exhibition of the work of artist and well known Ifold resident Peggy Harman.

The recently formed Ifold Art Society and Ifold Local History Society member Sarah Seager-Thomas showcased her work in Kelsey Hall to the delight of the many visitors who came to see her pictures.

The idea formed after Jackie Harding, Peggy Harman’s daughter, posted a message on Ifold’s Faceboook page which was spotted by Sarah.

Jackie said she had inherited some of her mother’s art work which included the original drawings from the local history book and she wondered if any of the owners would be interested in acquiring the originals.

Sarah, whose only knowledge of Peggy Harman was from those very pictures, and who had been involved in the reprint of the book, got in touch.

She then arranged with the art society for Jackie to bring her inherited drawings for possible sale at the show.

To make a feature of Peggy’s work, Sarah put a notice in the parish news asking people to lend their pictures by Peggy for display and was amazed to end up with 47 pieces from 19 owners.

“Together with drawings often with notes about colours, as well as files and sketch books, provided by Peggy’s daughter, the show made a great tribute to the artist who had died in 2003, and had left Ifold in 1992,” said Sarah.

Comments from owners were displayed alongside the pictures they lent for the show.

Daphne Wooldridge of Plaistow, was one of many owners who knew her and who described Peggy as a ‘friendly, outgoing and talented lady’.

“Peggy taught herself to draw. She did two charcoal pictures of an old man which she had copied out of the newspaper. They were brilliant and she took them to the Welldiggers pub to see if they would put them up and they sold! And this triggered her off. She then started art classes at the Kelsey Hall. She had no teacher training and later went on to do her City and Guilds for teaching adults.”

Her daughter Jackie said after the exhibition: “I am so pleased with the level of interest, not only from people who knew mum, but from people who had never heard of her.”

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