The Laundry Mural
Tredegar House, Newport

Geraint Ross Evans Laundey Mural.jpg

In March 2019, Geraint was commissioned by the National Trust to create a mural for the interior of their newly renovated Laundry Building on the Tredegar House Estate in Newport, Wales. The mural was intended to celebrate the building’s use prior to the development and was requested to be painted in monochrome. It is painted in oil and measures 20 feet long by 6 and half feet high (204 x 610 cms).

The Laundry mural was a very special, unique and rare opportunity for an artist; I thank the National Trust for entrusting me with the creative freedom to conjure an image within such an exhilaratingly large format, working in reference to, as well as becoming a permanent part of, the architectural space.
From a modern perspective, we celebrate the lives, stories or be it myths, of the individual; this mural was a chance to celebrate and give dignity to the forgotten worker. It was important to me to challenge pre-feminist depictions of the laundry / dairy maid archetype, whose real stories can become casualties of history. I wanted to present the physical and mental strength needed for these gruelling, ceaseless processes, by casting my imagination into the past. I hope this point is heightened by contrast with the view of Evan Morgan and Olga Dolgorouky walking in the garden, whose lives are much better remembered, due largely to inherited wealth and status.
The realism of the female protagonists came from drawing my close friends in preparation, who’s own strength and camaraderie whispered their influence into the resulting painting. I hope this authenticity plants narrative seeds into the minds of visitors.

Finally the route leads into a chapel space, a nod to St Josephs Catholic School who were the last group to make use of the building before its current renovation.
02. Standing Figure Study (Jen) 56.5x38cms.jpeg
03. Leaning Figure Study (Beth) 56.5x38cms.jpeg
Painted in oil on five adjoining wood panels, the mural was completed in ten days in my studio in Cardiff. The long format beckons the eye to travel between spaces as if a panning camera and with this, perhaps more subtly present, is the transition of time. Above all, I hope the work serves as a window into another world; carving out a space for visitors to connect the past, through the experience and perspective of the present.

The Laundry Mural is now a permanent feature of the newly renovated Laundry Building on the estate of Tredegar House. The building, having been entrusted to a number of local charities and organisations for training, workshops and events is often occupied to cater for the community. The National Trust welcomes visitors wishing to view the mural but recommends calling ahead to arrange a time on: 01633 815880.

Tredegar House
NP10 8YW

Images courtesy of  Ffotojenic

Images courtesy of Ffotojenic