Heritage meets an exhibition
Helping a friend set up her exhibition at A la Ronde made me think about the role of art in heritage. How should art fit in? Should it relate to the spirit of the place or simply be an experience in its own right?
I think a relationship between the heritage and the art benefits both. For example AbeySmallcombe’s cobelisk at A la Ronde used a material used in the property and the two female artists echoed the the two Parminters.
My friend Lesley’s exhibition is a good fit with A la Ronde too. Her use of found and natural materials is similar to the Parminters’ use of feathers, shells and other items in the property.
Contemporary or same again please?
One question raised about art across the heritage sector is whether to go traditional or contemporary. Even established venues with traditional collections are now venturing into contemporary art exhibitions.
Both the examples above are contemporary but using older techniques and methods. Could something dissonant have a positive impact? Quite possibly but I think the exhibition would have to strike a chord with the audience in some way. Either reflecting a universal aspect of the human condition, like Gina Czarnecki‘s touring exhibition Wasted; or through creating a connection with the venue like Nicky Hurst’s work at RAMM with its local crowd sourced element.
Throughout this post I have only referred to art although many people may wonder why I do not mention crafts. It is because in this context I see them as one but accept in other contexts they are better separated.
Go and enjoy Neptune’s Bounty over the bank holiday weekend and mull over how art and heritage relate.
PS please buy something, artists needed to eat too!