Beacon Artproject head to Calke Abbey in Derbyshire after Arts Council windfall

By Graham Pembrey | 14 December 2009
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a photograph of calke abbey surrounded by countryside in derbyshire

Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. Courtesy National Trust

The National Trust property Calke Abbey in Derbyshire is planning a new exhibition that promises to mix contemporary art with its historic artefacts after receiving £33,000 of National Lottery money from Arts Council England.

‘Profusion’ will be curated by Lincolnshire arts organisation Beacon Artproject Ltd and will open on June 19 2010, displaying works inside the abbey as well as in its grounds. It will mostly involve UK artists but some international ones, with some works specially commissioned.

"The work will increase the visibility of art," promised Beacon’s co-director John Plowman. "This in turn will increase the visibility of Calke Abbey and introduce it to a wider audience."

Property manager Stewart Alcock said the exhibition presented a “wonderful opportunity” to attract visitors to “the unique atmosphere of Calke, and share in the story of the decline of this once great country house.”

The Abbey in south Derbyshire already contains an eclectic mix of items, collected by past owners and preserved by the National Trusts in a state of halted decline, something they insist is part of the attraction to visitors.

“This project helps deliver the Arts Council’s mission of ‘great art for everyone," added Louise Rainbow of Arts Council England, East Midlands. "It provides a platform for a Lincolnshire organisation to work with the National Trust and Derbyshire venues, and to commission new work and celebrate the historical collection at Calke Abbey.”

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