Portrait of a Great Lady and great great granddaughter of Thomas Attwood, The Birmingham Man.
PRISCILLA MITCHELL was an extraordinary woman in anyone's terms. During the Second World War, she operated a lathe under the Houses of Parliament. She went on to be Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council for a decade or two. Priscilla sat on the Selection Board of the Institute of Criminologists in Cambridge, survived two husbands and has set up a number of Trusts and Charities. With one of these she built 12 Almshouses after the age of 90!
Her own accomplishments were put into perspective when considering her ancestry. Amongst her illustrious relatives were: Edward Gibbon Wakefield; Elizabeth Fry; and Thomas Attwood to name but a few.
One of the remarkable features of Priscilla was her 'disguise'. Like 'Miss Marple' she looked like everyone's ideal granny. But beneath the benevolent exterior lay a mind like a perfectly tuned jet engine.
It was through Attwood that I got to know her when working on the monument to him, the BIRMINGHAM MAN, a radical thinker and the first MP for Birmingham.
Having had an art training and an observant childhood, Priscilla was able to put together a description, almost forensically, so that I was able to create an affective likeness of the man. This led to a long and fond friendship until her death in 2007.
This piece was commissioned.
Dimensions: Approx 75cm x 85cm
Medium: Pastel Painting on Sandpaper
Edition size: UNIQUE
Collection: Private Collection