Richmond, Susanna (9 of 10).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2009-07-28, 2009-07-29, 2009-07-30, 2009-07-31

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Rounton, North Yorkshire

  • Interviewees

    Richmond, Susanna, 1923- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Westley, Hester (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 9: [01:04:53] Explains significance of time spent with DB in Spain for PMR and SR; recalls occasion when DB completed a landscape for PMR; DB’s final painting made with PMR’s encouragement; describes how her own understanding of painting has developed in the years since. [00:06:15] SR describes her experiences of giving birth to her daughter Georgina [GR] in Spain [in 1954]; the significance of writings of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read; anecdote describing journey to hospital through the mountains and birth; experiences in maternity hospital. [00:12:00] SR’s near death experience with puerperal fever; learning how to care for a baby; the kindly neighbours; SR’s return to her own art practice. [00:19:02] Arrangement of accommodation; reason why DB downsized; PMR and SR’s close proximity; house move following DB’s death; description of facilities; ‘the nicest thing was when it started to rain’. [00:24:40] SR’s second pregnancy with James [JR], he was born in 1959. Reason for SR’s resistance to returning to England; domestic help in Spain; extent of interaction with local community; self-sufficiency of Rhonda; PMR’s sociability; GR’s continuing relationships. [00:30:00] EB’s visits to SR; circumstances of JR’s birth; anecdote about home birth and dramatic midwifery practices. [00:36:05] Decision to purchase farm and arrangement with local farmer; to-ing and fro-ing to London; difficulties faced by farmer. [00:42:00] Challenges faced by SR’s children. SR’s reflects upon how her values have changed, ‘what comes first is life, and painting second’. [00:44:20] Move to England, c.1962; house share with friend, painter Edward Middleditch; later move and purchase of cottage in Hertfordshire; SR’s son Philip [PB] born 1962; son Bob [BB] born 1966. [00:46:25] Origins of long standing friendship with the Boyds [Lord Kilmarnock]. [00:49:00] SR’s attitude to returning to England; painting while pregnant with BB; the domestic set up in Hertfordshire; readjusting to domesticity; ‘living the sort of life we had avoided until then’; SR’s art practice and PMR’s teaching jobs; SR’s teaching job; financial strains. [00:53:20] PMR’s friendship with renowned art teacher, Harry Thubron. [00:54:56] SR’s involvement with cork décor enterprise; financial concerns; SR’s choice of Steiner schooling for her children; SR’s regret about moving the boys into local comprehensive school; GR’s educational trajectory; fragmented nature of JR and BR’s schooling; PR ‘wasn’t stretched’. SR’s critique of her and PMR’s parenting. Purchase of Camden Town house; move to London c.1980; impact on BR.

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