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 landscape masterpiece and, due to its shape, it is only one of two in the country that Brown designed in this way. Ellie Jones, Project Manager says; "Because ‘Capability’ Brown designed it, ‘it is a piece of living history". 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!' achieves.
Heather and Ivan Morison drew on inspiration from the decadent social lives of the Georgians. The 'LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!' pavilion is a contemporary combination of various historical and cultural facts. Below you can find answers to some of your initial questions about the installation.
Why is it this shape?
Funded by Trust New Art and the Arts Council England, the form of 'LOOK!' is 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 artist's inspiration behind the design.
It is with this idea of eighteenth century socialising in mind that the 'LOOK!' pavilion is being used to hold events throughout the year. From 'Lego Builders' to contemporary music, the pavilion is the walled garden's centrepiece that we are using to get people out and into the gardens. 'LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!' is therefore a marker point for the start of the project because it is drawing people outside and into this space.
Why is it pink?
Having assessed a lot of Berrington's history and its 'spirit of place', Heather and Ivan chose the pink that you see to match the pastel colours 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 focus on.
Thank youWe could only achieve such massive projects thanks to all of our visitors' support. The walled garden is a particular piece of Berrington that we want to protect.
Hopefully, with the help of 'LOOK!' having raised awareness for the walled garden project, we will be able to restore the garden to its original layout. We are using old records to plan how we can recreate this eighteenth-century image. You can see some of the visuals for the changes threaded throughout the article.
With of activities coming up and 'LOOK!' due to be in until 2019, we hope that by drawing on Berrington’s past, we will be looking to the future and pressing on with the Walled Garden and Pleasure Grounds Project.
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: