Tag Archives: National Trust

A roundup of Trust New Art 2010

21 Dec

As the year nears its end, this slide show (c.2 minutes) shows a selection of images from projects that took place this year.

Over 500,000 visitors to National Trust places had the chance to see contemporary art. The Trust New Art team would like to thank the many people who make this possible: artists, curators, funders, visitors, property teams and volunteers.

2011 will be an exciting year, and we look forward to seeing you then.

All seasonal good wishes to our supporters.

Trust New Art team


Trust New Art visits ‘Extraordinary Measures’ at Belsay Hall

21 Sep

Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens, owned and managed by English Heritage, is used to visitations from contemporary art. Judith King has been the independent curator working with English Heritage since 1996 developing their extensive exhibition programme at Belsay. The National Trust is also benefitting directly from Judith’s experience through her role on the Advisory Group to the Trust New Art programme.

Judith King speaking about the work of Slinkachu

Judith King speaking about the work of Slinkachu

The current exhibition ‘Extraordinary Measures‘ responds to the site through ideas of scale. That 58,000 people have already visited, and that the site has achieve its entire annual budgeted income in 6 months alone is testament to its success. To share the learning of the experience, a day conference was created.

The programme of the day included very useful in-depth and open accounts from Judith, as curator, then the project manager, the fundraiser, the outreach specialist, the educational specialist, and finally the operations manager. Essentially this was a ‘how to’ session about ‘Extraordinary Measures’ from start to finish. This reveals what an achievement it is to create such seamless interventions into historic landscapes and buildings with such strong impact – which ultimately will leave no trace after next week. It is clear that current and future trends in public and corporate support for the arts may well have an impact on what Belsay can do in the future. We wish them well!

Castle at Belsay Hall

Castle at Belsay Hall

I was pleased to see National Trust colleagues from the East Midlands regional team, Kedleston Hall (Derbyshire), Mottisfont Abbey (Hampshire), Wallington Hall (Northumberland) and Cragside (Northumberland) attending the day. In fact, there are other training opportunities for staff through upcoming events with Museumaker and the Crafts Council as well, and the East Midlands took several of our curators to see the Tatton Biennial last week.

Walking through the work of Mariele Neudecker

Walking through the work of Mariele Neudecker

The impact of the work at Belsay is a testament to its careful curation: there is a blend of lesser and better known names, but the quality is always high. The placement within the site is well considered to respond to or resonate with (or against) the historic context.

Slinkachu at Belsay

Slinkachu at Belsay

The work of Slinkachu has been seen most in the world of advertising. Tiny, centimetre-high models, are given life through staged scenes. The artist records this in a photograph – and then abandons them to their fate. Ephemeral, captivating, beautiful. This was his first rural project.

Mariele Neudecker, 'From Here to There is Not That Far'

Mariele Neudecker, 'From Here to There is Not That Far'

At the other end of the scale, Mariele Neudecker’s work dwarfs the people that walk through it, enclosing the open quarry garden entrance. The added reflective film creates a mirror to the light and sound within this space.

Scalesdale by MGA

Scalesdale by MGA

Scalesdale is an interactive project commissioned for the exhibition from architects MGA. Starting out as a bare board with the glowing castle and outbuildings (see image below), visitors were asked to vote on improvements to the settlement. Over the months of the exhibition, a democratically-determined conurbation has grown up. It works as a playful modely village, but also explores the real large-scale concerns of urban development that affect us all.

Scalesdale by MGA

Scalesdale by MGA

It is not possible to show you images of the works by Ron Mueck and ‘The Garden of Unearthly Delights’ by Mat Collishaw owing to copyright issues – but see here for images. Both are good artists, and the work fits well into the exhibitions.

The fabulous work of Tessa Farmer is well worth seeing, and her dark video piece ‘Den of Iniquity’ (a collaboration with Sean Daniels) marks a new area of work for her that has much potential.

Thanks to Judith and her colleagues for a very stimulating day, and the warm welcome we had. The work at Belsay has set the standardfor work of this kind.

Tom Freshwater

Contemporary Arts Programme Manager, National Trust

Last chance to see ….

9 Sep

Tell it to the Trees at Croft Castle…


Ancient woodlands, a mysterious picturesque valley, an intimate walled garden and a Gothick Castle have been the setting for ‘Tell it to the trees’, a year long exhibition of contemporary sculptural installations and paintings at the National Trust’s Croft Castle in Herefordshire. It began last July and ends with sustained applause next Tuesday 14th September. Really, don’t miss it! It’s like nothing else.

Commissioned by Meadow Arts, nine artists have been involved in the project showing work that is inspired by man’s relationship to trees. They are Mariele Neudecker, Philippa Lawrence, Brass Art, Laura Ford, Juneau / projects and Clare Woods.

Take a look at our pictures and then go and take some more for yourself…

Philippa Lawrence 'Bound, Croft' Cotton wrapped deceased oak, Commissioned by Meadow Arts 2009

Brass Art 'Witness Tree,' Selective Laser Sintering, nylon prime part. Meadow Arts Commission, 2009

Brass Art 'Witness Tree' 2009

Philippa Lawrence, Croft Bound, 2009

Do you have any photos from a trip to Croft? Email them to us (tom.freshwater@nationaltrust.org.uk) and you might see it up here on the Trust New Art blog…..

See the Croft Castle website for more on openning times and directions

And Meadow Arts for information about their work and the artists involved at Croft.

Lotte Inch

Thursday September 9th 2010

Seaton Delaval: CO2morrow

13 Aug

CO2morrow by Marcos Lutyens and Alessandro Marianantoni. Photo Marcos Lutyens

Seaton Delaval Hall is hosting ‘CO2morrow’, a dynamic illuminated sculpture by Marcos Lutyens and Alessandro Marianantoni until the end of October 2010.

This imposing, 8m diameter, carbon-fibre structure is a creative response by the artists’ to the challenges posed by our changing climate. The shape is based on a zeolite molecule that absorbs carbon dioxide and is used in industrial scrubbers in order to remove the gas from the air.

Detail of Lutyens and Marianantoni's sculpture. Photo by Marcos Lutyens

CO2morrow by night. Photo Maureen Ritson

Reflecting the changing light from its many spines by day, and creating a striking illumination at night, the work sits in stark contrast to the symmetry of the Hall, design by Sir John Vanburgh and completed in 1728. But there is good reason for the sculpture to be here…

From the earliest stages of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, the family at the Hall were heavily involved with the coal mining industry.  Seaton Sluice, with which this activity is connected, is a sheer-sided channel that was blasted through the rocky coastline in 1763. It provided safe access for boats transporting coal to be sold across the country, whatever the weather and the tide. Today, in contrast, nearby town of Blyth is the centre for many new green technology companies, those  such as NAREC, who are responsible for the construction of wind turbines and whose site can be seen from the foot of Lutyens’ and Marianantoni’s sculpture at the Hall.

View from the sculpture looking out towards a local 'green industry' site

This is a sculpture that helps people discover the links in the landscape, between the heavy industry of the past, and the cleaner industries of the future. A sculpture that makes people look and think in more ways than one.

The sculpture was first commissioned by the National Trust for the Royal Academy’s 2009 GSK Contemporary Exhibition ‘Earth: art of a changing world’ and was exhibited on the exterior of the Royal Academy building before coming to Seaton Delaval this summer. Full credits for the sculpture can be found here.

Seaton Delaval Hall and the CO2morrow sculpture

Thanks to the staff for a warm welcome on a windy day.

Tom Freshwater

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!

Welcome to the Trust New Art blog

6 Aug

Tom Freshwater Contemporary Art Programme Manager

Welcome to the Trust New Art blog. I am Tom Freshwater, the National Trust’s Contemporary Art Programme Manager.

Trust New Art connects more people to National Trust places through contemporary art and craft. It is supported by a partnership with Arts Council England.

The National Trust has been working with contemporary artists at our places for many years – but this is the first time we have pulled all our activity together to tell people about it.

Through this blog you can find out about projects that are already happening, and those that we are planning for the future.

As an organisation, we know that we need to connect with more people. We want to create unforgettable experiences for visitors to National Trust places. We want to support art projects that enhance our places and the stories that are found there.

Many of our places have a history of showing the contemporary art of their day: Kedleston Hall, Ickworth, Petworth, Mottisfont, Croome Park – and there are others. By continuing this legacy, we are keeping these places alive in the spirit of how they were created.

Creative projects can also help people see somewhere in a new light – whether a historic house, landscape, garden or coastal area – and can offer a ‘way in’ for people who otherwise would not think of visiting.

We are prepared to challenge people and their expectations – but we are not setting out to offend. We want to know what you think, so do let us know.

You can also follow us on Twitter (@trustnewart) and see further detail at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trustnewart.