Wollaton Hall hosts exhibition based on the building and its history

Close Distance
Caroline Broadhead, Nic Sandiland and Angela Woodhouse

8 March – 1 May 2017
Wollaton Hall, Prospect Room

The Close Distance exhibition opens in the magnificent rooftop Prospect Room at Wollaton Hall on Wednesday 8 March. With views across the surrounding park and city beyond, this new commission offers visitors a unique experience of an area of the house rarely visited by the public.

Artists Caroline Broadhead, Nic Sandiland and Angela Woodhouse have taken inspiration from the building’s history and inhabitants, exploring such details as 17th century embroidered costume belonging to the Middleton family who once lived in the Hall, and the doors that separated the kitchens and servants’ quarters from the family rooms upstairs. Sandiland and Woodhouse have worked with image, sound, and movement to create a series of intimate film works that are integrated with Broadhead’s reinvented found objects. All these elements find synergy in this atmospheric installation.

The three artists describe the installation: “…Images will shift from the open landscape to the enclosed and restricted spaces in which the servants were confined, indicating the labours and life that differentiated the people, their roles and their position in the 17th century household.”

There are two ways to visit the exhibition. Visitors can book on to one of the special ‘Talk and View’ events, taking place between 1 and 3pm every Wednesday and Saturday between 8 March and the close of the exhibition on 1 May. Each ‘Talk and View’ will be conducted by a Nottingham-based artist or performer, lasting approximately 45 minutes, including time to view the work. Talks are £3 per person, bookings can be made in advance via www.wollatonhall.org.uk/close-distance. For further details please call 0115 876 1433.

Close Distance can also be seen during Wollaton’s existing Prospect Room tours, taking place at 12 noon and 2pm daily (£5 per person). The Prospect Room is only accessible via a spiral staircase and so Illuminate, Nottingham Museums’ Young Arts Collective, have made a short film that documents the making of Close Distance. This will be shown on the ground floor of the Hall, which is fully accessible and runs throughout the exhibition.

Talk and View visits are also available to pre-booked school/student groups, free of charge. Please call 0115 876 1433.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: “This is a fantastic and unusual way for visitors to experience the magnificent rooftop Prospect Room at Wollaton Hall. It is also a real opportunity to see one of the rooms that the public see least often. By using artists to tell stories in this innovative way, we hope visitors will be able to learn more about the history of the building and the families who once lived there.”

Close Distance is commissioned by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries. It is part of Dance4’s Nottdance festival, taking place between 8–12 March. Nottdance 2017, Nottingham’s festival of choreographic ideas foregrounding new works, discourse and research will be five days of unexpected provocations, a place where pioneering ideas begin. For more information, please visit www.dance4.co.uk.

 

Editors’ notes:

  • Caroline Broadhead’s practice brings jewellery, textiles and performance art into close relationship. She trained at Central School of Art and Design, London, won the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Textiles in 1997 and is currently Course Leader of BA Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins. She is one of the foremost practitioners in her field today, has exhibited internationally and has work in major public collections including: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; V&A, London; Nottingham Castle. http://www.marsdenwoo.com/broadhead/cb.htm
  • Nic Sandiland’s work explores new choreographic forms through installation, performance and film and he has collaborated frequently with choreographers to find a synergy between recorded image, sound, object and movement. Originally trained in electronics engineering, he studied dance and performance in the late ‘80s. His movement-based works focus on ways to elevate the mundane and often overlooked choreography of everyday life. Work commissioned by: Royal Festival Hall; Barbican Arts Centre; Sadler’s Wells Theatre; Artsdepot. Regular collaborator with choreographers Yael Flexer and Rosemary Lee. Worked as an interactive technology designer with Station House Opera, and artists Gary Stevens and Imogen Stidworthy. http://flexerandsandiland.com
  • Angela Woodhouse trained in Dance and Visual Art at the Metropolitan University of Manchester, followed by an MA from University of Surrey and the Lisa Ullmann Scholarship to study in New York. Her practice explores detail and intimacy through site and installation, in works such as ‘a life altered’ (2000), an installation with dancer Stine Nilsen and Dreams and Ruins for Witley Court, Worcestershire commissioned by Dancefest and English Heritage (2005). She was selected as one of the commissioned artists for the inaugural Place Prize 2004 with Threshold and is currently developing a new performance installation with internationallyrecognised artist Nathaniel Rackowe for One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London. http://angelawoodhouse.co.uk
  • Three miles from the city centre Wollaton Hall and Park is one of Nottingham’s most distinctive historic sites, with the dramatic and instantly recognisable silhouette of the Hall perched high above the surrounding park. There are more than five hundred acres of landscaped deer-park, with herds of red and fallow deer roaming free within the park boundary walls. Deer herds have been a feature here since the first enclosure in the middle of the fourteenth century.
  • The Hall is one of the finest examples of an Elizabethan Renaissance House (Listed Grade I) designed and built by the Robert Smithson (also the designer of nearby Hardwick Hall) for Sir Francis Willoughby. The house was later restored and repaired by the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville. The estate was purchased shortly after the First World War by the City Council and has been enjoyed as a public park since that time. The Hall has housed the Natural History Museum for much of that period.
  • The Prospect Room was used in the 16th century, introduced by Robert Smithson allowing the Hall’s residents to survey their land and oversee hunts. It is constructed in such a way that no beam reaches across the full length of the floor, held up by its own joints, this type of architecture is referred to as being in a Chinese Lattice structure.
  • During Close Distance two items from the long term Middleton Collection Loan will be presented at Wollaton Hall in the Great Hall. A 17th century embroidered hood and collar, belonging to the Middleton family who once lived in the Hall.
  • For images or more information, please contact coordinator Colette Griffin on 0115 876 1433 or colette.griffin@nottinghamcity.gov.uk, all images are © the artists.

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