Objects of Use at Compton Verney
The exhibition was devised as a series of encounters between historic and contemporary works including new commissions by Rosa Nguyen and landscape and garden designer Dan Pearson. Objects of Use has installed a gallery of objects which are representative of the legacy of craft and beauty in the production of everyday objects today. Objects in this gallery are presented for viewers to pick up and experience first hand, for a fuller appreciation of their materials, making, and craftsmanship.
Outside, around a spectacular Cedar of Lebanon (part of the existing 'Capability' Brown landscaping), Dan Pearson has created an extraordinary meadow, inspired by William Morris's 'Trellis' wallpaper design, which will go on developing over the next several years, with different flowering species being encouraged through specific planting. Very beautiful in the evening light on the day the exhibition opened:
Back in April on a preparatory visit we marvelled at this towering figure standing alone upon the lawns to the front of the house, and couldn't help but to want to discover a little more. Undeniably redolent of The Wicker Man, it perhaps shares a similar source, being developed - by the artist Faye Claridge - after the work of Sir Benjamin Stone, a politician and photographer who around the turn of the twentieth century travelled the country recording what he could of unusual festivals and ancient folk customs.
A kern baby or harvest queen photographed by Sir Benjamin Stone in 1901, with descriptive text from William Henderson's 'Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders' published by Longmans in 1866. Such festivals remain even today in vestigial form but it is perhaps difficult for us to even imagine a time when the success of the harvest determined the very existence of a community for another year, a lesson all too familiar with those celebrating or writing with such fresh memories of the Great Famine in Ireland. Perché una mostra di falci?
To find out more about the exhibition or the Kern Baby please do visit Compton Verney
online or even better in person - when you could also visit our pop-up shop which will be running on site for the duration of the show.