- Date: 7 September 2009
- Artform: Visual arts
- Region: South West
Sudeley Castle, a historic piece of English heritage set in the beautiful Cotswold Hills, now stages an annual exhibition of contemporary art by some of the world’s leading artists.
The summer of 2007 saw the castle’s gardens host Reconstruction #2, an extraordinary exhibition, featuring 11 new commissions by artists including Turner prize-winner Keith Tyson, Mexican artist Carlos Amorales and the Turner prize-nominated Jim Lambie. It was supported by Arts Council England, South West with a grant of £74,950, with further funding from Kleinwort Benson.
The exhibition, which took the theme of a maze or labyrinth, was curated by Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst and Elliot McDonald. It follows on from two previous exhibitions they curated there, Vertigo in 2005 and Reconstruction #1 in 2006.
The idea grew out of the curators’ desire to start something new, to show work by the world’s leading contemporary artists in an exciting and enticing environment – somewhere other than the traditional white cube setting. Elliot McDonald explains: ‘When people visit a gallery, their visit is often very short. We wanted to provide a different experience for visitors and the artists, to create more of a day out in a beautiful setting.’
The work was seen by around 70,000 people over the course of the summer, and Sudeley have noted the profile of visitors is changing season on season as an increasingly younger audience is attracted to the castle to see the exhibitions.
‘The joy of exhibiting at Sudeley is that visitors can see something that was constructed five days ago next to something that has been there for 500 years’, continues Elliot. ‘A dynamism and vibrancy is created by this juxtaposition of old and up-to-the-minute new.’