From its base in Shropshire, Meadow Arts commissions and sites new art works and exhibitions throughout the rural West Midlands and beyond. Meadow Arts adopts a flexible approach to commissioning exhibitions that respond uniquely to the location in which they are staged, to bring high quality contemporary art to areas where few other facilities exist.
Since 2004 it has been operating on a peripatetic basis, working in collaboration with a variety heritage and public locations that enjoy an established visitor base. This creates new audiences, encourages partnerships between the contemporary arts, heritage and public sectors and provides opportunities for vibrant education and engagement programmes.
Harminder Judge's Kedleston & Coronation Park (film trailer)
Meadow Arts invited contemporary artist Harminder Judge to be part of 'Shakti': an exhibition of contemporary art responses to historic collections held in Britain of South Asian artefacts. Judge came to National Trust property Kedleston Hall (in Derbyshire, UK) in 2012 and instantly became drawn to a short film shown there which documents Lord Curzon's 1903 Delhi Durbar, an extravagant public spectacle thrown to celebrate the Coronation of King Edward VII.
Judge was also interested to learn that this short film was later shown throughout India in makeshift cinemas and proved hugely popular and has even been attributed, by some, as launching the country's early film industry.
As part of his on-going residency at Kedleston, Judge used this film as a starting point for his research; he also travelled to Delhi to visit Coronation Park, site of the 1903 Durbar. His new work, 'Kedleston and Coronation Park' incorporates footage filmed at Kedleston and in Delhi. The film will be screened in the Pleasure Grounds from 27th August 2013 - 5th April 2014 in a structure conceived by the artist and inspired by the temporary makeshift cinemas used in India in the early 20th Century.
Join Meadow Arts at Kedleston Hall on Tuesday 27th August for 'Shakti Live', a day of dance, music, puppet theatre and story-telling inspired by the Indian Subcontinent to celebrate the world premier of Judge's new film.
Holly Davey - Letters from the front
At Croft Castle in Herefordshire (UK) on 27th Oct 2012 artist Holly Davey performed her artwork 'Letters from the front'.
Inspired by her own family history and that of James Herbert Croft, who during World War 2 gave his life whilst serving for King and Country, artist Holly Davey read a series of fictional letters aloud to reflect on a country at war and life at the front as well as a universal longing to be somewhere else.
If you would like to take part in the project by sharing your family history with the artist please upload your own family letters from either WW1 or WW2 to the 'Letters from the front' blog http://lettersfront.blogspot.co.uk/
Susie MacMurray's Spawn: making a temporary artwork
Installation of 'Spawn' by contemporary artist Susie MacMurray at Attingham Park, Shropshire, UK. Sunday 20th May 2012. A Meadow Arts commission.
Members of the public joined artist Susie MacMurray and the Meadow Arts team to make a new temporary artwork at National Trust's historic house, Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury in England.
Over the next few days, the sun acted upon the latex balloons, causing them to deteriorate and then burst. For more information on this artwork, please see the 'Spawn' page on the Meadow Arts website: http://www.meadowarts.org/page.php?Plv=2&P1=3&P2=34
Installation of Robert Davies exhibition
A short time lapse film, showing the installation of the Robert Davies exhibition 'Animal drawings' at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm in Shropshire.
The exhibition is at Acton Scott until 15th July 2012.
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Daphne Wright's Swan at House of Beasts
A discussion between Anne de Charmant, curator of Meadow Arts' 'House of Beasts' exhibition, and academic speakers from the 'House of Beasts: Enquiries into the Human and the Animal' symposium, February 2012, Shrewsbury, UK.
'House of Beasts' continues at National Trust's Attingham Park property until July 2012. See www.meadowarts.org for more details.
Tessa Farmer and Sean Daniels - 3 Film Clips
Shown by Meadow Arts as part of the Hereford Photography Festival, October 2011
Excerpts from: Nest of the Skeletons, An Insidious Intrusion and Den of Iniquity
Films by Tessa Farmer and Sean Daniels
Tessa Farmer's sculptural forms and film work are at once darkly humorous and macabre. These are no Disney fairies with pretty coloured costumes: these fairies may bite or sting you if you come too close. Painstakingly made, these intricate creatures are the tormentors of the mini-beast world. Her works use our imaginations against us, invoking the nightmarish qualities of original folklore tales in the scenarios enacted by the gleefully wicked, but industrious sprites.
Den of Iniquity can be seen at Meadow Arts 'House of Beasts' exhibition at Attingham Park, Shrewsbury until July 2012. See www.meadowarts.org for more details
The Witness Tree by Ian R McLeod
Meadow Arts worked with the award winning novelist and writer Ian R MacLeod and Madley Primary School on a literacy based workshop exploring the visual and mythical connections of the Witness Tree with Coningsby Hospital.
Here is Ian's own personal response.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Witness Tree in the ancient courtyard of Coningsby Hospital in Hereford as part of a literacy project involving Madley School. I think the idea of a poem was already in my mind from some dim recollection of Robert Frost even before I saw the tree itself. Turns out, though, that it's the title of a collection rather than a particular poem. Not that I would ever be foolish enough to compare myself to Frost, but right away there was a sense of a space already waiting to be filled by words.
The Witness Tree's a strange and lovely name for a strange and lovely creation, and the idea of bearing witness, making confession, being heard and perhaps forgiven seemed all the more appropriate when combined with the white, reaching branches of the tree, and the figures who are struggling to emerge, or perhaps being swallowed, by its trunk. Branches are always a bit like fingers in any case, and of course they whisper to each other and stir in the wind.
There's always a sense that every tree has a tale to tell, if we were patient enough to listen. And, perhaps, that the tree itself might hear what we have to say about ourselves if only we could bring ourselves to speak to it from our hearts... Ian R MacLeod www.ianrmacleod.com
You can view Brass Art's artwork at Coningsby Hospital in Hereford (see www.meadowarts.org for more details).
Nathaniel Pitt at Meadow Arts 'Tell It To The Trees' performance day at Croft Castle
Part V Voyage to The Man, Croft, Hospital, The City and Tallinn - as part of the 'Tell It To The Trees' performance day at Croft Castle, Leominster, Herefordshire, 2010.
Nathaniel Pitt made a slow procession throughout the grounds of Croft, pulling a fleet of flagships and a drinks globe in a performance entitled Part V Voyage to The Man, Croft, Hospital, The City and Tallinn. The performance is part of a wider project exploring notions and themes in ecology, human folly and satire.
Daphne Wright Throat
This sound piece was commissioned by Meadow Arts as part of the Still Life exhibition at Hanbury Hall (National Trust) Worcestershire, 2007. The piece was located in the Snob's tunnel at Hanbury Hall.
Dating back to the early 18th century, 'Snob's' tunnel was designed as a route for the estate worker between their working place and the house. The idea was that they should not be seen by the owners and visitor and 'spoil' the perfect vistas. The sound installation Throat was designed in surround-sound to be experienced as an auditory journey while passing through the tunnel. We can hear the voice of an old woman uttering basic phonetic sounds, like a child learning to speak. This collision of an old voice nearing the last breath and the childlike utterances creates a haunting space between silence and words. In this emotional resonance are all the words that might have been spoken by voices now stilled.
Daphne Wright's work plays with the desire we seem to have for an encounter with beauty in art. Much of her work is visually stunning in a relatively conventional sense. Yet what is central to these works is that on both the macro and micro scale - the distanced and the intimate - Wright wilfully undermines this promise of pleasure.
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