“Longing to travel” - Active Arts Community Exhibition

The Clifton Centre, 1 & 2 Stainsby Street, St Leonards, TN37 6LA

Active Arts presents an exhibition of work inspired by this community group’s artist’s exploration of the life of Mary Seacole.

Mary presents the many facets of her life through the central theme of travel in her book emphasising that from a young age, she yearned to travel. “I was never weary of tracing upon an old map the route to England; and never followed with my gaze the stately ships homeward bound without longing to be in them, and see the blue hills of Jamaica fade into the distance.”

The travelogue style she adopts for her autobiography affords her the opportunity to explore her travels in all their forms: shaping of her personal life, career and values. And significantly for her time, she recognises and articulates that she is in flux, her perceptions and understandings shifting through her life as she experiences new places and people.

Underpinning Mary’s telling of her tale is a recognition that she is feels different from those around her in many ways.

In writing about her whole life in the mid 1870s, the book offers her perspective six years before her death but, even so, it’s possible to glean very different versions of Mary in her childhood, teenager years, mid and late career.