... the impossibility of things remaining the same ...
Open-Up: Hestercombe Gallery unveils a series of lockdown-inspired outdoor artworks. Hestercombe Gallery is
is proud to unveil a brand new series of outdoor artworks commissioned in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In July 2020 Hestercombe launched Jackdaw Line in Hestercombe’s Georgian Landscape Garden, a new stone work by internationally renowned artist Richard Long. This work has become the flagship commission of a new outdoor series, entitled ‘Open-Up’. Originally programmed for May 2020 as part of Hestercombe’s Bampfylde 300 year of celebrations, Jackdaw Line was postponed due to Covid-19. The existing indoor exhibitions, Coplestone Warre Bampfylde: A Gentleman of Taste, and Most Admirably Improved by Art, have both been closed since Hestercombe temporarily shut in late March 2020. This enforced closure created a reaction that reimagined the way that artworks are presented in a way that is made safe and accessible for visitors for the current social distancing environment at Hestercombe. At a time when most UK galleries remain closed it seemed fitting to follow Jackdaw Line with further outdoor works that not only respond to the gardens, but reflect on the unprecedented times faced by a global society, with a virus at its root.
Open-Up Open-Up features eight artists with intimate knowledge of Hestercombe, many of whom have responded to the landscapes on the estate in the past. The works, distributed across all three of the period gardens at Hestercombe and beyond, range from subtle interventions involving copper plant tags, pigeon rings and galvanised nails, to bold stacked colours, giant bunting and orchard ladders.
Artists featured include Richard Long, Sarah Bennett, Megan Calver with Gabrielle Hoad, Jon England, Jo Lathwood, Philippa Lawrence and Lucy Soni.
Throughout 2016-18 Philippa Lawrence studied tree stumps, stacks of logs and cut wood in Hestercombe’s grounds, making two site responsive works Shift & Stasis, transforming fire-wood and tree stumps through the process of French polishing. Situated in the house as part of the exhibition: Materiality: Provisional States, 2018- 19 these works referenced the value and status of materials and the earth’s resources.
Stack, 2020, located near the site of the Turkish Tent in the landscape garden, draws attention to labour and care within the grounds of Hestercombe. The coloured ends of this stack of logs are made using forestry tree-marker spray. They draw attention to activities, language and devices used in land management. The invitation to create work for this exhibition is an Opening-Up, affording the artist a chance to be more experimental and freer in her practice.
Stack is part of an ongoing interest in making works that ask us to perceive things we may have overlooked or not considered, tracing humankind’s activity in managing an estate and nature.