National Trust and Arts Council build links with new three-year contemporary sector scheme

By Culture24 Staff | 07 June 2010
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a photo of several large red lilly like artworks floating on a vast lake

(Above) Steve Messam, Lily (2010). Photo: Thierry Bal. Commissioned by Tatton Park Biennial

The National Trust and Arts Council England have announced a new partnership to build links between the Trust and the contemporary arts and craft sector.

Trust New Art is a three-year contemporary art and craft programme taking place at selected historic houses, countryside and garden properties across England.

Involving a wide programme of events, projects and products developed to make contemporary arts and crafts an integral part of the National Trust's daily offering to visitors, the initiative is also seen as a way to build new audiences while providing commission opportunities to both emerging and established artists.

a photograph of a dead tree which is bright red in a parkland

Philippa Lawrence, Bound, Croft (2009). Cotton wrapped deceased oak. Courtesy of the artist and Meadow Arts

"The National Trust has a long tradition of displaying and commissioning the work of living artists, continuing a practice begun by owners of our sites and properties who were art patrons of their time," says Tom Freshwater, Contemporary Arts Programme Manager at the National Trust.

"Placing high-quality and innovative contemporary art within historic settings can inspire today's artists and audiences and encourage new ways of looking at the work and the world."

Trust Properties already showing contemporary art include Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, which is currently hosting work by Brazilian designers the Campana Brothers and artist Jeff Koons, whose Cracked Egg is on show until October 31 2010.

a photograph of a large shiney cracked egg in a room

Jeff Koons, Cracked Egg (Blue) (2006). High chromium stainless steel with transparent colour coating. At Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire. © Jeff Koons

At Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, Beacon Arts are enhancing the timeless atmosphere of this charming property, hidden in an ancient deer park with works including those of painter Mark Fairnington and 2009 Turner Prize nominee Roger Hiorns (June 19 – July 11 2010).

“Trust New Art demonstrates real ambition on the part of the National Trust and we applaud their commitment to the creative and cultural life of the country," said Vivienne Bennett, Director of Visual Arts at Arts Council England.

"It is just one of the ways we are helping key partners from other sectors work with artists and arts organisations to extend the reach and impact of contemporary art."

To find out more about the scheme and the artworks being exhibited visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trustnewart.

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