The Residents is a National Trust artists-in-residence programme curated by Inheritance Projects in partnership with Nottingham Contemporary, BALTIC and The Hepworth Wakefield. Hosting three artists/artists group in National Trust properties across three regions, the project invites the artists to develop their practice through critical engagement with the historical and contemporary contexts of the buildings. Work produced during each residency period will be exhibited on-site and in the nearby regional gallery throughout 2012.
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20 October - 11 November 2012
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle
Tris Vonna-Michell presents a new narrative installation resulting from his residency at Gibside in the Level 1 Cube space at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Whilst in residence Vonna-Michell engaged with the historical and present day context of the pleasure grounds. The resulting work has developed - as is typical of the artist - from research into orchestrated relationships between humans and nature, focussing on the changing aesthetic, structure and function of the site over time.
The vast country estate of Gibside is incongruous and spectacular within its situation on the outskirts of Gateshead and the property actively engages these links with the surrounding community. Owned by a long lineage of industrialists - coal excavation occurring even in the grounds - the Column of Liberty is visible at first approach still blackened from this past, and surrounded by a grand design of vistas, gardens and the estate's famous Palladian Chapel. A hidden folly is said to lie amongst overgrown woodland and winding paths, though it has remained unfound in recent history. The main manor house, finished by William Blakiston in 1620, is now only a ruin - a skeleton memory of a great period of industrial wealth in the north-east of England.
Whilst in residence at Gibside, Tris Vonna-Michell will be living in the old Banqueting House managed by the Landmark Trust. The artist is particularly interested in a series of man-made ponds located within Gibside’s grounds and in exploring the tension between nature and human intervention. Beginning with his peculiar method of storytelling, utilizing historical research, found objects, the spoken word and photography, the artist will work toward a performance and exhibition that will be profiled by on and offsite.