Art and Heritage

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?

exhibition set up tools

exhibition set up tools

Genius locus

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.

Cobelisk at A la Ronde

Cobelisk at A la Ronde

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.

Lesley with her exhibition

Lesley with her exhibition

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.

Your homework

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!

Flags for your sand castle art!

Flags for your sand castle art!

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About Rick Lawrence

Making models and playing tabletop games since the late 1960s, and still enjoying it! Now working in heritage and dabbing around with photography, with quality cafe time when I can.

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