nunnington hall à la mode

September 24th, 2009

©NTL/Andrew Butler

©NTL/Andrew Butler

Attention art enthusiasts: the latest exhibit from the National Trust could pose quite the treasure hunt.  The Trust’s 17th century Nunnington Hall property in North Yorkshire will showcase works from 18 different contemporary art gurus in its Past Present exhibit this season.  But here’s the catch: you’ll have to search for these artistic treasures!

Keep your eyes peeled upon entering each of the Hall’s rooms – original pieces of Nunnington furniture, ceramics, textiles, or accessories are substituted with one of these modern-day masterpieces.  Don’t miss out on unique works from leading artists Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono, Sarah Lucas, and Lucy Skaer among others.

Members of The Royal Oak Foundation, the U.S. affiliate of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, can enjoy free access to Nunnington Hall as well as the entirety of the Trust’s properties year round.  Challenge yourself to explore all of the 300 historic houses and gardens, 700 miles of coastline, and 620,000 acres of countryside, for only $55 per person or $90 per family.

Make sure to head on over to Nunnington and peruse the following Past Present highlights from now to November 1st.

The Dining Room – ‘Willy’ (2000), by Sarah Lucas

Sarah Lucas has glued Marlboro Lights cigarettes onto the surface of a plastic garden gnome, producing a combination of innocent ornament, sexual title, and harmful tobacco to convey a dark humor. This piece is shown within the setting of the rich, dark-green-paneled room that served as Colonel Fife’s smoking room in the 1920s.

The Drawing Room – ‘All White Chess Set’ (1962-1970), by Yoko Ono

Conceived as a pacifist statement, particularly taken in context of the Vietnam War, Yoko Ono’s chess piece opponents sit on each side of an all-white board, making the warring factions indistinguishable from one another. The homely Drawing Room at Nunnington was where Margaret Fife and her family would relax and play games.

Mrs. Fife’s Bedroom – ‘The Simple Truth’, (1995), by Tracey Emin

In wool, cotton and felt, Tracey Emin created a bedcover which was originally not intended as a work for display but to serve as a bedspread in her hotel room. At the time it was made it reflected her feelings about America, mining the archive of her life story. It is displayed on the antique four-poster bed in what was used as Nunnington’s principal bedroom.

The Paneled Bedroom – ‘Leonora’ (The Tyrant), (2006), by Lucy Skaer

An oak table inlaid with mother of pearl in the image of a pair of grasping hands, is displayed in Nunnington’s ‘haunted’ bedroom, which contains an adjacent oratory that was used for prayers. Lucy Skaer’s work explores time, mortality, photographic imagery, history and chaos and is part of a series of pieces focused on Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington and the name of a Tarot card.

The Large Exhibition Room – ‘Family Tree 1’ (1995), by Victoria Hall

Exploring the theme of memory through family photographs, a fishing line depicts photographs and text as a substitute for names and dates in a family tree. When lit, the images are projected onto the wall behind. They are not about any one particular family but rather provide a formula that could be applied to any family.

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