Artists in residence

Untrue Island

'The theme of Untrue Island was the many voices of the Ness' - R Macfarlane © National Trust & Commissions East

'The theme of Untrue Island was the many voices of the Ness' - R Macfarlane

Untrue Island brought together writer Robert Macfarlane, jazz musician Arnie Somogyi, and visual artists Jane and Louise Wilson.

The haunting landscape of Orford Ness with its Atomic Weapons Research Establishment Laboratories formed the backdrop for an ambitious project that investigated and interpreted the site throughout July 2012.

Previous projects

  •  © Hugh Pilkington

    Appropriations

    During August 2011 three circular objects on Orfordness were appropriated and declared to be Artworks by Hugh Pilkington. For nearly 100 years it has been thought that any object can become an art object if so declared by an artist and presented in an art context. In declaring these three elements on Orfordness, Hugh Pilkington transformed them for a month after which they reverted to their original state.

  • Cast away

    Concerned about the amount of plastic in our oceans and washing up on our shores, Suffolk artist Fran Crowe created art from the rubbish washed up on the beach there. Helped by volunteers, Fran collected plastics on Orford Ness beach over a couple of months and created an installation from what she found.

  • Pagoda (mixed media) - Martin Laurance © Martin Laurance

    Stone Eye

    Martin Laurance, Heather Hodgson, Joan Hodes, Ali Hollingsworth, John Barker and Katharine Roney took inspiration from the wild and remote coastline. Locals themselves or those with strong connections to the Orford area, they each shared a fascination with ‘The Island’, as it is known locally. The group staged an exhibition of their work at the Peter Pears Gallery in Aldeburgh during November 2010.

  • Cobra Mist

    Cobra Mist explored the relationship between landscape and traces of military history on the Ness, particularly the experiments in radar and the architecture of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. The film recorded the physical traces of the past using the photographic nature of 16mm film and time lapse to construct an impossible experience of the landscape and expose its history to the camera.

  • Pagoda project

    The Pagoda Project was a time based artwork installed in an ex-atomic bomb environmental test building. The time-based installation consisted of a computer generated image sequence, projected in 'The Pagoda', Laboratory 4 of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment site on Orford Ness. The event took place from 10-16 August 2008.

  • A record of fear

    The sense of mystery and secrecy on the Ness, and the changing nature of the site, became the focus for Louise K Wilson. A choir performed in some of the remaining military buildings and these voices, along with other sound recordings from the Ness were manipulated to form audio works, which together with a video work were installed on site. An off site element was installed at the Wolsey Art Gallery.

  • Dennis Creffield

    In the mid 1990s National Trust commissioned Dennis Creffield to paint Orford Ness as part of its Foundation for Art scheme. A series of paintings and drawings/sketches was produced, some of which are held in the National Trust's collections.

  • John Wonnacott

    Before the National Trust purchased Orford Ness John Wonnacott had started painting the derelict landscape. Further work was commissioned from John and his painting of Military Remains on Orford Ness is held in the Trust's collections

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