I've been re-reading Artists' Houses, a lovely book that features the home of 13 European artists. There is a wonderful chapter on Charleston, the Sussex home of artist Vanessa Bell and staging ground for the Bloomsbury Group. Decorating the home became a life-long passion for Vanessa (sister to Virginia Woolf). At Charleston life and art melted together and the house itself became a living testament to the gently subversive Bloomsbury aesthetic - mainly freedom of the individual. You can read more about the Bloomsbury Group and their contributions HERE, but today I want to share some photos of the home at Charleston.
Virginia Woolf wrote in 1916 about her sister's life and behavior at Charleston, "Nessa seems to have slipped civilization off her back, and splashes about entirely nude, without shame, and with enormous spirit. Clive now takes the line that she has ceased to be a presentable lady. I think it all works admirably."
Without shame and with enormous spirit. That will be my new mantra.
And here is a smattering of art created by Vanessa Bell while she lived at Charleston.
And here's a photo of Vanessa Bell, sitting outside Charleston in 1928.