Artist profile: Anya Gallaccio

What do a block of ice, a wall of chocolate, a mountain of clay and a Northumberland castle have in common? The answer: Turner-nominated, world-acclaimed, international artist Anya Gallaccio and her latest creation 'dreamed about the flowers that hide from the light'.

Why now?

As the castle is allowed more time to dry out, there was an exciting opportunity to work with a renowned, contemporary artist and show visitors something really special.

Not since Sir Edwin Lutyens began his renovations in 1903 have the castle’s rooms been laid bare and emptied of their contents.

With this blank canvas in mind and a tradition of using organic materials, such as fruit, vegetables and flowers, Anya’s creation is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view the rooms in a different way.

" Lindisfarne is a very special place. It’s a place I have always been really intrigued by. It’s an amazing opportunity. How often do you get free rein of a castle? The opportunity to inhabit it briefly is not one to turn down.” "

Her installation draws on inspiration from the Gertrude Jekyll garden. Anya has created a landscape of colour using organic dyed blankets, in colours found in the garden, and geometric oak sculptures. The blanket colours will change over time, showing the natural process of decay and giving visitors a different view every time they visit.

Why Anya?

" Anya’s vision perfectly pulled together the many threads of the Castle’s story. She has combined inspiration from the garden with the idea that the castle has been closed for some time, to prevent it suffering further decay from the elements. The exhibition is the start of it being brought back to life. To have something specifically commissioned for Lindisfarne, by one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, is incredibly exciting. We want Anya’s work to not only inspire visitors to experience this special place in a new way, but also to show Northumberland as a driving force in exhibiting internationally significant contemporary art. "
- Simon Lee


When is it on?

The installation is open until Sunday 4 November. Make sure you come and see for yourself how a 16th-century castle can be transformed through modern art.

Who is Anya Gallaccio?

Born in Scotland, her first solo exhibition was in 1991 in London and since then she has shown throughout the world.

Her past work has included placing a 32-tonne block of ice around a rock salt core in an old pumping station in London, where it was allowed to slowly melt over time. She also covered an entire wall of a gallery in Edinburgh with almost 90 pounds of thick, dark chocolate. Visitors were encouraged to lick, pick or stroke the walls.

Anya’s creations feature in the Tate and the Victorian and Albert Museum in London.

Her latest work 'Beautiful Minds' is being exhibited at the 21st Biennale of Sydney, one of the leading international arts events showcasing innovative and thought provoking art from around the world. It features a giant 3D printer, suspended from the ceiling, filled with modelling clay which is discharged to create a scale-model of an existing mountainscape – Devil’s Tower, in Wyoming.

She's also been involved in another project with the National Trust as part of the Aldeburgh Festival Snap programme at Orford Ness in 2014.

A view across the garden reflected in the gazing ball

Trust New Art in the North of England  

Discover new art across the North of England this year through Trust New Art, a programme of contemporary arts inspired by our places.