Present Past

Artists:, Chris Anderton, Ilze Briede & Donna, Jane Cartwright, Nancy J Clemance, Stephen, Anne Edwardes, Rosemary Edwards, Alex Grey, Sarah Grace Harris, Language! Timothy, Rachel Larkins, Christopher Lee, Margaret Maguire, Zoe Monckton, Denise Poote, Colin Priest, Rachel Sheldrake, Lucy Turner, Anja Urhen, Mark Van Klaveren, Nicola Will, Carl Wilson
Title: Present Past
Dates: 27.06.15
Welcome to ‚”Rastgarth”, one of the first houses to have been built in Southbourne, with Arthur Bell purchasing the plot of land in 1891 from the Southbourne-on-Sea Freehold Land Company Limited, and having his new family home built on it. Arthur George Bell was a Yorkshire born landscape painter who studied at the Slade School in London and later in Paris at the
Ecole des Beaux Arts. He exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1882 he married Nancy R. E. Meugens, a prolific author and translator, who later wrote under the pseudonym, “Mrs Arthur
Bell” and in 1891, they moved from London with their three
young children, Kenneth, Eric and Irene to their newly built
house, where you are visiting today.
Some prints of his work, to include nearby Hengistbury Head are
on display in the large room that was originally, we believe, a
north-light studio for Arthur. Here too, you will be able to leaf
through some books written by ‚”Mrs Arthur Bell” (Nancy) whilst
she lived here, and one of which was illustrated by her husband.
Arthur died in 1916, and Nancy continued to live here until her
death in 1933. Since that date there have been a succession of
owners, with part of the original gardens having been sold off,
and the bungalow you now see to the side of the drive being on
those original gardens.
We believe the house was a family home until in more recent
years when it seems to have been split into three basic flatlets,
evidence of which is clearly visible as you walk around.
And so, in a house originally built for and lived in by artists, we
fill the house once again with art and creativity for one day as a
final farewell, as within the next few weeks the building will be
demolished and cleared and homes for new people will be built,
in the circle of life. Thank you for coming and we hope enjoy
your visit as much as we have in bringing it to you.