Firstly I have a soft spot for Basingstoke because my daughter was born there and it's a lovely area. Secondly...the BookBenches are a brilliant idea helping to promote literacy and are also a great canvas to paint, and thirdly Jane Austen was such a wonderful writer!
Sitting with Jane is a unique public art trail to celebrate Jane Austen's connections with Basingstoke and her birthplace Steventon and forms part of a global commemoration of her life in 2017, the 200th Anniversary of her death. 25 BookBenches will form a trail in and around Basingstoke for 12 weeks next summer, which will then be auctioned to help raise funds for the Ark Cancer Centre Charity to go towards a new specialised cancer treatment centre.
When I was considering a design, the idea of a dolls house leapt out at me because it could combine the Regency period which Jane Austen describes so well, with characters and stories. I've always loved dolls houses so researching period style, decorating the rooms with tiny details and imagining the kind of dolls which represent typical Jane Austen characters was huge fun!
There's more info on my design 'The House that Jane Built' on the Sitting with Jane website.
Front of the BookBench showing the rooms inside the house.
Detail of one of the rooms