Every ornament should have its perfume

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The Reading Room, an ex-village hall in Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, was built in 1906 by Willian Arthur Smith Benson. Benson was a high-profile lighting designer and a key part of the Arts and Crafts movement, selling his work through (William) Morris & Co in London. Having settled in Manorbier in middle age, he built the Reading Room as a philanthropic gesture to the community.

Kathryn Campbell Dodd’s forthcoming exhibition reflects on the Arts and Crafts heritage of the building to both celebrate and question the utopian idealism of the movement’s philosophies through a series of new and recent works.

The exhibition title, Every ornament should have its perfume is taken from Owen Jones’ seminal book, The Grammar of Ornament published in 1856 which contributed to reforms in British design and the Arts & Crafts ideals of utility, beauty and fitness for purpose.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 5 October at 7pm, everyone is welcome.

The artist will be at the Reading Room from 11am – 4pm each day. A comfortable reading area will be available to visitors. You are invited to browse books from the artist’s collection (or bring your own); meet and chat about the themes of the show and the history of the building over a cup of tea.

To celebrate this exciting new arts venue for west Wales, artists and craftspeople from Pembrokeshire and west Wales are invited to meet together at the Reading Room during the show to talk about the issues and challenges of living and working in the region – in particular on Saturday 7 October 2 – 4pm.

Local historians David Glennerster and Gerald Codd will be at the Reading Room on Sunday 8 October 2-4pm to share their knowledge of the history of the building, come along to see old photographs and have a chat over a cup of tea and cake – a warm welcome to all.

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