The Edge of Things Trust New Art at Blickling Estate

Published : 16 Jan 2019

Following our successful 2018 Trust New Art project looking at the importance of books and the written word, our 2019 project will see artists Neville Gabie (artist-in-residence at the 2012 Olympic Games) and Joan Gabie drawing inspiration from four specific titles from the collection here at Blickling.

The Edge of Things draws inspiration from Blickling’s nationally important book collection, looking at it through a contemporary eye. Responding to Language, Natural History, Astronomy and the work of the first scientist to use microscopes, the artists will be installing a series of installations and live projects in the house and out to the Orangery between May and October.

Neville and Joan have been regular visitors to Blickling over the past few months.  Standing in the Long Gallery Library, surrounded by over 12,500 books on almost every subject, they found themselves wondering what lies within the book presses.

" What if the contents of those shelves could speak? What languages are contained within the leather-bound pages? What voices of travellers and explorers: what sounds of animals, birds and landscapes captured within and retold at a time when the world was opening up to new ideas?"
- Neville Gabie & Joan Gabie

Having spent many hours with John Gandy going through parts of the collection, Neville and Joan became keen to select books from different subject areas, which reveal what was at the absolute forefront of knowledge in the seventeenth century.  This period marks a point in history where the thirst for understanding of the known world and for new attitudes to social and political structures was being rethought.  Their work will therefore explore the theme of The Edge of Things from the edge of space and the edge of language, to the edge of the natural world.  The aim of the project is to revisit some of these ideas through the lens of a contemporary eye, reinterpreting them in relation to our own grasp of the world around us.

Discover the lost language of Wampanoag as the first North American bible (1663) translated into the Massachuset Indian dialect is brought to life, with a wave of sound through the Long Gallery Library.  Neville and Joan will be working with spokesperson for the Wampanoag community, a paleobiologist at Bristol University, astronomers from North Norfolk and volunteers at Blickling Estate to give these historical books a contemporary perspective.  

The Edge of Things will open at Blickling Estate on 17 May.

Scaffolding on the North and East sides of the North East Turret

Support Blickling's Library Appeal 

An ambitious new conservation project to secure the long-term future of one of the most significant book collections in the country has been launched by the National Trust, and with it a fundraising appeal to support the work that’s needed.