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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Tom Freshwater's talk - Trust New Art

September's talk was by Tom Freshwater is Contemporary Arts Programme Manager for the National Trust, leading a partnership with Arts Council England.
He began his talk by giving us some numerical background to the National Trust; they own over a million artworks, have 6000 staff and 62000 volunteers, 775 miles of coastline and 13000 photos of cake on their data base. The age profile of members was mainly among the greying members of the population, but thanks to many initiatives like music festivals, contemporary art festivals and activities for children, the age profile better reflects a cross section of the population.
Contemporary art has played a large part in reinvigorating interest in many National Trust places, it has been used to help with the continuation of the spirit of a place, captured a national moment, as a campaign aid, helped interpretation, created an event and a momento or souvenir.
I took quite a few photos on the night which I'll run through, here we started with Tracy White setting up the projector for Tom, with Mike Bradley, also NT and committee member assisting
 Here's the opening photo with the Trust new Art logo and other sponsors:
 The drinks ready for the visitors when they arrive
 Below Tom and Mike looking at the ceramics, you can see the Going to Town titles are on the wall, but the pictures have not yet been added.

 Above here's Tom talking, and below a manacled slave from Dyrham Park used to talk about slavery.
Tom then showed us a video of Hew Locke talking about the 12 bronze chairs he was commissioned to make for Runnymede, the chairs look stunnign and i'm looking forward to seeing them in situ.
'Commissioned by Surrey County Council and The National Trust to mark the 800th Anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Free to visit at Runnymede, UK.
The Jurors is a permanent artwork designed for this ancient landscape to mark 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta in this place. It is formed of 12 bronze chairs, each decorated with panels of images and symbols relating to past and ongoing struggles for freedom, rule of law and equal rights. The Jurors is not a memorial, but rather an artwork which requires people to complete it.' 
You can see what they look like below:
Tom also talked about the work of Sigrid Holmwood at Upton House, an enactment in which Sigrid dresses up and paints a self portrait in the style of an old master similar to those found in the considerable art collection at Upton house, seen below
Grayson Perry's Vanity of Small Differences is being displayed next May-June 2016 in a National Trust property.
Tom brought Trust New Art alive for us, and inspired lots of us to visit Runnymede and lots of other National Trust places in the near future. So much thought goes into every aspect of how they present their properties to give us all an excellent visitor experience. A really inspiring insight, thnak you Tom.

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