From Grayson Perry tapestries to dandelion sculptures, the National Trust is celebrating its largest ever programme of contemporary arts this year, with events and exhibitions across England and Wales inspired by the conservation charity’s historic places.
Explore the National Trust’s programme of exhibitions, events and special projects including visual arts and crafts, temporary architecture, and writing inspired by their beautiful locations.
Dorothy Una Ratcliffe Fellowship Exhibition: Women’s Work – Women in the Rural Landscape, Freya Pocklington, Acorn Bank, 2 September–27 November 2016; Hill Top, 17 September–20 October 2016
Women’s Work is the outcome of Freya Pocklington’s three month Dorothy Una Ratcliffe Fellowship residency at Acorn Bank, in Spring 2016. The 2016 Fellowship is part of the National Trust’s programme of activities celebrating 150 years since Beatrix Potter’s birth. Pocklington has spent her residency seeking out women who can be seen as the present day counterparts of Beatrix Potter, who spent the later part of her life as a Herdwick sheep farmer in the Lake District. The women are all working within the Lake District and surrounding areas to either actively conserve the landscape, or the animals and farming way of life that have helped to shape it. Experience Pocklington’s drawings and audio recordings at Acorn Bank and Beatrix Potter’s former home Hill Top.
On the Wing, Caroline Wright, until 30 October 2016
Nestled in the flower meadows, Caroline Wright’s elegant bird cage reveals hidden views of the Estate. Commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Lord Fairhaven’s bequest of Anglesey Abbey to the National Trust, the work references his interest in ornithology, responds to his unrealised wish to create a garden folly and speaks of the freedom and entrapment of wealth and personal circumstance. On August 13 a performance will animate the birdcage, referencing time, routines and the life of Lord Fairhaven.
FOUNTAINS ABBEY AND STUDLEY ROYAL WATER GARDEN, NORTH YORKSHIRE
folly! Mat Collishaw, until 30 October 2016
For his first solo show in Yorkshire, Mat Collishaw has created two striking new installations for folly! at this World Heritage Site. Nestled in the dramatic 18th-century landscape surrounding Fountains Abbey, the Banqueting House and The Temple of Piety have been transformed by Collishaw’s immersive and enchanting installations. Drawing upon the history of buildings designed for revelry and reflection, the works are optical illusions that echo ghosts from the past.
The Golden Box, Bouke de Vries, until end of 2017
As part of the return of the collection to Croome, Bouke de Vries was invited to create an original work to present select pieces from the ceramics collection in a way that responds to Croome’s spirit of ‘expect the unexpected.’ The Golden Box entices you to walk through a reflective cube encrusted with exquisite pieces of Meissen, Worcester and Sevres porcelain from Croome’s collection.
FELBRIGG HALL, NORFOLK
Walk With Me, Strijbos & Van Rijswijk, Megan Bradbury, until 30 October 2016
Co-commissioned by Felbrigg Hall and Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Strijbos and Van Rijswijk’s audio walkscape takes you through woods and fields to create your own cinematic experience. With the landscape as your screen, headphones provide a soundtrack of music, words and sound effects. Moving through the grounds, moods change, and time flits from past to present. An intriguing narrative by novelist Megan Bradbury recollects the past of Felbrigg Hall and reframes the estate as a place of stories and wonder.
CASTLE DROGO, DEVON
Truth and Triomphe, Grayson Perry, until 30 October 2016
A rare chance to see Grayson Perry’s Map of Truths and Beliefs created for his The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman exhibition at The British Museum. Perry’s tapestry is hung alongside a French masterpiece, the 300-year-old Char de Triomphe, providing an opportunity to compare and contrast the historic and contemporary methods, symbolism and making of both tapestries.
STANDEN HOUSE AND GARDEN, WEST SUSSEX
Bothy, Will Shannon, 23 September 2016-1 January 2017
Will Shannon’s folly-like Bothy reflects the pioneering principles and production techniques of Standen’s Arts and Crafts heritage. Using materials found in the Sussex landscape, the commission will challenge him to learn new skills to create the different elements; from stained glass windows to simple furniture. Tucked away on Standen’s sandstone cliffs, Bothy will be a space to shelter, reflect and create.
BERRINGTON HALL, HEREFORDSHIRE
Genius Loci, Red Earth, until 1 January 2017
Environmental arts company Red Earth bring ‘Capability’ Brown’s final landscape design to life with a series of outdoor installations and events. Join them on specific dates to create the installations from materials on the estate – then see them in their entirety from 8 August. Red Earth’s residency ends on 17 September with Strange Magic, an evocative evening celebration of live song, sound, music and fire.
PACKWOOD HOUSE, WARWICKSHIRE
Packwood Follies, Hilary Jack, until 1 April 2017
Inspired by a line written about Packwood in the 1930s, describing it as ‘a house to dream of, a garden to dream in,’ artist Hilary Jack has created three installations to explore in the garden and park at Packwood; InsideOutHouse, Embedded and Hive.