LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! at Berrington with Heather and Ivan Morison
Here at Berrington we have begun our 'Walled Garden and Pleasure Grounds Restoration Project'. This project involves trying to discover more about Berrington's walled garden and re-instate it to its Georgian origins. To mark the start of this project in 2017 we were joined by Heather and Ivan Morison who drew on Berrington's history and eighteenth century culture to design 'LOOK!'.
The gardens, pleasure grounds and landscape at Berrington were 'Capability' Brown's final masterpiece and the very rare curved walled garden is the only one of its kind to survive the centuries almost entirely intact.
We are now looking for ways to use this piece of living history to get people from all walks of life outside and into the gardens, which is exactly what 'LOOK!' achieved. From 2017 to the end of 2020, it housed live music events, Lego building activities, Georgian tea talks, garden tours and even a wedding celebration. It brought the garden to life and sparked conversations about its origins, its designer and what the space would have been used for hundreds of years ago.
Heather and Ivan Morison drew on inspiration from the decadent social lives of the Georgians. The 'LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!' pavilion was a contemporary take on the Georgian 'eye-catcher' or garden building and was inspired by historical and cultural research undertaken by the artists. You can find some answers to your questions about the pavilion and the thoughts and inspiration behind its creation below.
Why was it that shape?
Funded by Trust New Art and the Arts Council England, the form of 'LOOK!' was inspired by the story of pineapples being imported and eaten during the eighteenth century as a statement of wealth. Thanks to the recent research we have carried out as part of the walled garden project, we have even found evidence of pineapples being grown in the gardens.
Why a pavilion?
The Georgians also regularly socialised in temporary pavilions made from wood and canvas or material whilst entertaining, dining, reading or even for illicit meetings. This was another element of the artists' inspiration behind the design.
It is with this idea of eighteenth century socialising in mind that the 'LOOK!' pavilion was used to hold events throughout its time in the walled garden. From 'Lego Builders' to contemporary music, the pavilion was the walled garden's centrepiece that was used to get people out into the gardens.
Why was it pink?
Having researched a lot of Berrington's history and its 'spirit of place', Heather and Ivan chose the pink colour to match the pastel hues that are woven into the interior of the house. The pinks and blues that are inside the mansion were a statement of wealth in the eighteenth century, and this is yet another element of the period's culture, and Berrington's past, that the artists chose to incorporate into their final design.
Thank youWe can only achieve such important projects thanks to all of our visitors' support. With your help, we can restore and revive this historically significant walled garden and preserve it for future generations to enjoy.
Previous contemporary art at Berrington Hall
'Genius Loci' by Red Earth
In 2016 we were joined by environmental artists 'Red Earth'. They created a series of installations throughout the parkland called 'Genius Loci'. This was done to celebrate 300 years of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown's landscapes, as well as Berrington's connection to him. Although Red Earth's installations are no longer in the parkland, we think the meaning behind them ought to be shared with you. We hope you enjoy this video: