Romsey Make Your Mark Panel finds permanent home at King John’s House

Pictured with the panel are, l to r: Mark Udall, General Manager, King John’s House; Ruth Facey, artist; Yinnon Ezra, MBE, MA, FRSA, Chair TVAF

The Romsey Make Your Mark panel created at the Romsey Show by members of the public has now found its permanent home at King John’s House and this was formally unveiled on Thursday 30 May by Yinnon Ezra, Chair Test Valley Arts Foundation, Ruth Facey – artist behind the project and Mark Udall, General Manager of King John’s House and Museum.

Ruth Facey, local artist had the original idea to provide a participatory community art event and lasting record to commemorate TVAF’s 25 years of activity. Ruth produced small panels of recycled copper and also assembled the necessary tools for mark making: a variety of hammers and steel blocks.

The activity was open to anyone in the vicinity of The Bus of Many Things at the Romsey Show, Mottisfont Abbey and the Andover Festival of Motoring to come along and have a go. Overall more than 200 people, aged between 3 and 80 did just that to produce their individual textured panels. These were then assembled to form 3 panels, one for each event.

Mark Udall, General Manager, King John’s House said “King John’s House and Museum was delighted to receive one of the “Make Your Mark” panels on 30th May 2019 from the Test Valley Arts Foundation (TVAF) for permanent display. It is very appropriate that the panel finds its home at the House. King John’s House is re-imagining itself as a well established focal point for Heritage, the Arts, Culture and Education (HACE) in Romsey and the surrounding area and so it is a natural location for this celebration of a very successful community arts project. Acronym lovers might recognise hace as the Spanish verb ‘to make’. Another good reason for “Make Your Mark’ to reside at the House.”

King John’s House has a unique feature, which draws visitors from all over the world. Etched into its original medieval plaster are heraldic and other graffiti left by the entourage of King Edward I, who visited the Abbess of Romsey Abbey in 1306, and may have lodged at what we now call King John’s House. One reason people leave graffiti is a cry of “I was here”. Literally they “Make their Mark” for posterity. Community contributors to the “Make your Mark” project have made their claim of “I was here” and now a celebration of their marks sits in our collection alongside an example of their 700 year old precursors.