‘The show must go on…’

A week to remember has just gone by and has seen blood, (cut my thumb) sweat, (lots of running up/down stairs) tears, (got the giggles) gallons of coffee, (obviously) cake, (don’t judge me) and even pizza. (Who in their right mind would turn down a veggie/chilli number – Thanks Cath!) All in the name of Art. ‘Trust new Art’ is a new initiative at The National Trust to incorporate contemporary works of art from the Arts Council Collection, into our existing collections. Although recently launched, we at Dyrham have had just two and a half days to get the show up and running. We have had a cool twenty-something pieces to hang and display alongside our collection from a variety of artists. The ‘A World Away’ globalisation theme fits nicely in with one of the most important people ion Dyrham’s history, the first William Blathwayt. He was responsible for the major building works in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s creating most of the property. Mr B was a major player who had ‘fingers in many a pie’, from property to multiple jobs. His work dictated a need for a working knowledge of the world that was almost ahead of his time hence the link with the contemporary art theme.

Arriving un-fashionably early, we watched the truck wind it’s way down the drive as Sarah (the Blond bomb-shell of the Garden team) pointed out I looked expectant…  (well, I was breathing out at the time and had eaten a lot of biscuits) With a heave and indeed a ho too, we got all the crates of artwork off and pilled up in the house ready to be unpacked the next day. A slightly surreal version of Christmas… With the help of two of the Arts Council Collection’s ‘logistic experts’, the ACC curator Anne Jones, Dyrham Curator Rupert, House Manager Lin and Myself, we had a hectic two days hanging all the artwork, which was not as easy as it sounds. Not by a long shot…The house office did become a little cramped with boxes, packing material, tools, chain, paperwork etc. Some pieces were hung on existing picture rails, some freestanding and some screwed into the wall! It was uncharted waters for Dyrham staff, so the party line was ‘We’ll get it done…’ as well as ‘Keep Calm and Carry on…’ which is always a winner. Our collective positive mental attitude did prevail, as we had literally minutes to go before the house opened at the same time as paintings being fixed on the wall. An ‘eye of the storm’ to be sure… Although weirdly enjoyable too… A big thank you to the ACC crew for all their hard work. The show stopper pieces for me are ‘Candle Bathing’, my personal favourite, which I think I could look at all day, and obviously the pink circle, ‘Line Painting’. A visual firework-show to end the visitor route with…

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About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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