Calke Abbey 

Installation Artist

Creating an installation for the National Trust's Calke Abbey was exciting in designing a piece for a different audience. I wanted my installation to speak from the space it inhibited. I created a wire figure; a physical, ambiguous representation of the four eccentric male owners of Calke. When walking through the servants tunnels, I imagined the whispers and secrets of the servants and what they would have said about the lonely heirs. I worked with the idea of hidden things and looking beneath what lay on the surface. With this I decided to use wire as you can physically see through the 'person' to the space 'he' inhabits, which was an alcove in the servant's tunnel. I accompanied the piece with an audio of people whispering, talking about the owners (which I gathered through research from the local area and people who knew these men. Therefore as the audience walked through the dimly lit tunnels, they heard the whispering before they saw the installation; creating the eerie atmosphere of something that once was. I used lights to outline the figure in order for it to be seen but also to make it aesthetically appealing as, due to the audio, I did not want to frighten the audience too much! I discovered that in order to make each installation successful, you have to work with the environment you have and bring the piece to the site, not the other way around. I had the chance to communicate with visitors of a range of ages, allowing me to hear their opinions of my work. Seeing their different perspectives was thought provoking for future work.  

 

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