Somerset Arts Works, in partnership with Halsway Manor, are pleased to announce a new and final Somerset Art Works commission as part of ‘A Landscape of Objects’ funded by Arts Council England.
Somerset visual artist Andrea Oke will take up a residency at Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, deep in West Somerset. With parts of the building dating from the 15th century and with a mention in the Domesday book, Halsway Manor is imbued with a rich folk heritage that encompasses dragons, devils, murder and Odin’s ghostly blacksmith. Yet much of this folk history is now forgotten creating a borderland of shadows and concealments. Through the combination of traditional craft and digital media Andrea will reanimate Halsway Manor’s landscape by exploring some of the forgotten people and the stories that shaped the bedrock of this place.
In the ‘Shadowland Project’ Andrea says “By creating a visual landscape of folklore and placing Halsway at its centre I hope to start new conversations that prevent both the stories and the storytellers from being lost to us forever.”
During the project Andrea will be researching the folklore and history of Halsway and its immediate surroundings, utilising resources from within Halsway’s library collection and Somerset’s Heritage Centre, as well as talking to people and visiting local sites. The research will inspire and inform a pop-up exhibition of original artwork at Halsway Manor that can be visited as part of Somerset Open Studios (Thu 27 – Sun 30 September, 10am – 5pm. Admission free). There will also be opportunities to meet the artist (Sat 29 September, 2pm) and participate in family friendly workshops (Sun 30 September, 10am-12noon and 2-4pm. £10 per family. Places should be booked in advance via Halsway Manor – 01984 618274).
Crispian Cook, Chief Executive of Halsway Manor said “We are delighted to be hosting Andrea Oke here as Artist in Residence. It is particularly exciting that she is here at a time when we are undergoing changes with our restoration project and widening our creative engagement. Andrea’s work here will enrich what we are doing and provide a wonderful chance for members of the public to experience an artist at work during Somerset Open Studios 2018.”
Andrea is keeping a blog throughout her residency, visit shadowlandproject.wordpress.com to follow her progress.
Shadowland Project is the final commission of Somerset Art Works project A Landscape of Objects, funded by Arts Council England. A Landscape of Objects has consisted of a series of site-specific commissions, residencies, bursaries and curated shows, including new work from local to international artists, during 2017-18. This is a major artistic programme by SAW to encourage research by artists into the spirit of the place, local identity and rural context in the making and presenting of contemporary arts and craft, investigating innovative and imaginative uses of important man-made landscapes and our relationship to them.