All that glitters at Kedleston Hall

10 Aug

It has been two weeks since I saw Susie MacMurray’s installation at the National Trust’s Kedleston Hall and still I am still feeling overwhelmed by its deceptively simple beauty, its purity, its unexpectedly calming influence.  It definitely requires another visit. The shimmering, mazelike structure invites visitors to explore and to journey amongst thousands of strands of golden thread which interweave amongst the alabaster pillars of the grand, marble hall and create a golden haze that responds to even the subtlest changes in light. It really is truly awe-inspiring.

Susie MacMurray's 'Promenade.' The Marble Hall, Kedleston, 2010

The Marble Hall at Kedleston with MacMurray's current installation

‘Promenade’ is a response to Kedleston’s history and original purpose as a show palace. It makes associations with the often extravagant history of the house; the Curzon family whose home this has been since the 12th Century; and the rich decoration and use of gold and gilding throughout the property. It is also makes reference to Lady Curzon’s  ‘Peacock Dress’ (think gold, and lots of it, metal threads, and jewels!) made by the Parisian designers The House of Worth and first worn in 1903. (You can see this at Kedleston’s Eastern Museum below the Marble Hall.) See their website for more information about this totally stunning gown.)

This temporary installation ‘Promenade’ is one of 16 commissions which form the national Museumaker project taking place across the country in 2010 / 2011.  It is also a response to the National Trust’s desire to bring its properties to life. And there is no arguing that MacMurray’s installation does not enliven this space!

This is alchemy and art combined. History and the contemporary brought together in a unique partnership that cannot be done justice through words…

Susie MacMurray 'Promenade' 2010

Installation of the work took over a fortnight, and required the help of many of Kedleston’s volunteers, local students and community groups, all overseen by the artist. Benjamin Wigley‘s video of the installation of the piece and discussion with MacMurray is well worth a look… Click here…

Experience Susie MacMurray’s installation ‘Promenade’ at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire until 30th September. Check Kedleston’s website for more details. Kedleston Hall is open daily except Thursday and Friday from 12  – 5pm.

And if you like what you see, I recommend a peek at Susie MacMurray’s website to see where else you can find her work…

Let us know what you think of the installation. Do you have any images you’d like to share with us from your visit to Kedleston. We would love to hear your comments.

Comment labels at Kedleston Hall

Don’t forget to follow Trust New Art on Twitter and to keep checking the blog. Watch out for facebook pages coming soon too!

Lotte Inch

Trust New Art intern  – And general lover of historic houses and contemporary art!

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