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Faversham artist Paul Joyce dropped by Eastwell Manor

An artist painted more than 50 pictures and took hundreds of photographs after being offered a position as an artist in residence at a luxury hotel – only to be told he wasn’t wanted.

Established artist and former film director Paul Joyce, of South Road in Faversham, spent more than £1,000 on materials, mounting, framing and printing work in anticipation of his show at the lavish Eastwell Manor hotel.

All of the pictures depict features of the grounds of the £130-a-night hotel and Mr Joyce spent days on end perfecting his pieces.

Eastwell Manor near Ashford
Eastwell Manor near Ashford

Mr Joyce said: “I was driving along the Ashford Road and suddenly this place caught my eye.

“It was slightly misty but as I made my way up the lane towards the manor, it became clearer and it was a magical journey.

“As soon as I entered the grounds my spirit rose. I love the trees and the grounds look like Versailles.”

Artist Paul Joyce with his unfinished Eastwell Manor piece. Picture by Chris Davey
Artist Paul Joyce with his unfinished Eastwell Manor piece. Picture by Chris Davey

After becoming a member of the swimming pool, Mr Joyce approached the owner Turrloo Parrett about the possibility of displaying some of his work.

Mr Parrett and his business partner Patricia Kennedy loved the idea and agreed that Mr Joyce should be given a position as an artist in residence, as shown in the Faversham News article from April 2016.

He created a number of postcards to sell in the manor and then began putting together his collection of paintings and photographs. But when he completed the work, things started to go wrong.

Although Mr Parrett and Miss Kennedy had initially been the decision makers, over the last year multinational spa company Champneys have taken over.

Champney's did initially offer Mr Joyce a space but he said it was not adequate for the work he had produced.

Eastwell Manor
Eastwell Manor

Mr Joyce added: “It made me feel sick to my heart that I had devoted so much time and so many skills to this work.

“I do not know what I am expected to do with so much artwork focused entirely on Eastwell Manor.”

Mr Parrett did not want to comment. Group general manager of Champneys William Simmonds said: “Mr Joyce had a verbal arrangement with the previous owners of Eastwell Manor, which we were informed of just recently.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to meet Mr Joyce’s requests to display his work at Eastwell, which would have run into the thousands of pounds to facilitate and had to decline his proposal on this occasion.

“Whilst we were happy to offer Mr Joyce space to exhibit his work as he saw fit, we were unable to support the full collaboration that he had in mind due to the updated direction that the Champneys brand is taking with the resort.

“We would like to wish Mr Joyce all the best in his future endeavours.”

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