Kent Adult Education

Courses run by Kent Adult Education at Sevenoaks (directed by Marta Doran) have begun to explore a remarkable family of male and female writers, the Sidneys of Penshurst. The courses are held at Kent Adult Education Centre in Sevenoaks and the students and tutors will periodically visit Penshurst Place. Tutors and students are using Mary Sidney, Lady Wroth’s play Love’s Victory (1617) and the family home of Penshurst Place as inspiration for creative work in a range of media.

Penshurst Place’s rich literary and architectural history offers multiple opportunities for artistic responses to the site which will capture a sense of how local people and visitors feel about the place.

Tutors and students explore how creative work interconnects with knowledge about the characters of the Sidney family of the past and their adventurous lives: on the battlefield or as diplomats in the Netherlands, as members of the courts of Queen Elizabeth and King James in Britain, and as a family with their own entangled romantic relationships and dynastic alliances. ‘Traces’ of those former Sidneys are left in paintings and objects such as Philip Sidney’s ‘porcupine’ battle helmet, or in the peach bushes espaliered against the wall of the formal Italian gardens, which Robert Sidney talks about in a letter home to his wife when he is missing Penshurst and his family.

Kent Adult Education are running four courses in collaboration with ‘Dramatizing Penshurst’, please click the links below for more information:

‘Painting the Play’ — Liz Chapman

‘English Portraits, Landscapes and Pastoral Scenes’ — Deborah Crofts

‘Making the Book of Fortunes: Calligraphy using sixteenth and seventeenth century styles’ — Els Van Den Steen

‘Illustrating the Play’ — Victoria Wainwright