London Fieldworks install two major artworks in response to history of Clumber Park

By Mark Sheerin | 07 August 2012
Colour photo of a cherry picker help install a complex of birdboxes in a tree
London Fieldworks, Spontaneous City in the Cedar of Lebanon. Installation view© Bruce Gilchrist of London Fieldworks
Exhibition: London Fieldworks, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, until winter 2012

The National Trust’s Playful Landscapes programme is just one way this organisation is bringing colourful tales from its many properties into the public realm.

At Clumber Park, this has meant working with duo London Fieldworks, aka Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson. Like most artists, they take an indirect approach to their subjects, framing their foibles rather than mocking them.

So two major installations could offer a historical perspective to your next visit to the Park. One is a birdhouse with hundreds of chambers, which throws up an all important question: why did the Dukes of Newcastle build such an extensive property that in 1938 it had to be demolished due to lack of finance?

The other is a super-realist leopard reclining in a second tree. This might lead you to question the wisdom of importing an Indian big cat to rural Nottinghamshire. The 4th Duke did just that and, after the poor creature failed to adapt, shipped his prize to London Zoo.

Since a former architectural jewel is no longer here. All that remains is 3,800 acres of parkland, and of course, these two wry touches: a fitting monument to the follies of an aristocratic age, if not a lasting one.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

More pictures:

Colour photo of a cherry picker used to install a complex of birdhouses in a cedar tree
© Bruce Gilchrist of London Fieldworks
Colour photo of a vista to a country home with a cluster of birdboxes in a cedar tree
© Bruce Gilchrist of London Fieldworks
Colour photo of a cherry picker used to install a complex of birdhouses in a cedar tree
© Bruce Gilchrist of London Fieldworks
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