And Stand a Ruin Amidst Ruins (details) T Aver

And Stand a Ruin Amidst Ruins (details) T Aver

LIVE SEASON 2015: Visual arts unlock the creative potential of museums across England in national pathfinder programme

By New Expressions

17 April 2015

NEW EXPRESSIONS 3 ‘LIVE SEASON 2015’, part of Arts Council England's national pathfinder programme, has kicked off in Nottinghamshire with more event details announced

New Expressions 3 LIVE SEASON 2015 has kicked off with Nottingham-based artist Tristram Aver’s exhibition And stand a ruin amidst ruins (pictured above) at Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. The work is open to the public until 5 July 2015 and is the first of fifteen works to be seen as part of New Expressions 3.

New Expressions 3 is a national Arts Council England pathfinder programme supported and delivered by the Major Partner Museums network, the National Trust and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network. The aim of the programme is to unlock the creative potential of museums by enabling heritage organisations to commission new works by contemporary artists in response to their historic collections. This third iteration sees the programme roll out nationally with collaborations across the South West, Midlands and North of England.

And stand a ruin amidst ruins (click hyperlink for short video) by Tristram Aver, is a special temporary exhibition of contemporary paintings in the Great Drawing Room at Newstead Abbey. Using late 18th to early 19th century sporting art and landscape paintings of pastoral England and Nottinghamshire, alongside the abundance of wallpaper designs as a starting point, Aver has created an altered, condensed view of Newstead's history, culminating in complex paintings that hint at how the building was used, and how it is used today. Aver is a beneficiary of a New Expressions 3 New Opportunities Award (see editors notes).

On Saturday 28March, Chris Watson’s Ebb & Flow - seasonal sounds through the Devon Year: A sound commission for Royal Albert Memorial Museum’s staircase - opened to the public and runs until end of the year. Watson, one of the world's leading wildlife recorders, is bringing sounds from rural Devon into the heart of the museum in Exeter. Four seasonal recordings from a variety of locations will create a changing soundscape evocative of Devon's diverse ecosystems. Chris Watson is a BAFTA award-winning audio recordist who has worked with the BBC on many of their best known natural history productions including Tweet of the Day, Frozen Planet and The Life of Birds.

9 May will see Magister Dixit by Emma Smith open at Tyntesfield, a National Trust property in Wraxall, Bristol. Over the last year, Smith has been developing a new work for Tyntesfield in collaboration with National Trust volunteers.  Visitors will discover how Smith has woven the fascinating and curious history of performance, ritual and service at Tyntesfield into an interactive sculptural form, which explores the power of the spoken word through the ages.

The project takes its title from the Pythagorean phrase ‘the master has said’ which stems from an inscription on the door of the Tyntesfield library, which reads: Scripta Manent Verba Volant ‘the written word stays and the spoken word flies’. Visitors are invited to use the piece to explore the sounds and performances of Tyntesfield; what games were played and plays performed, what rituals and services took place, how was knowledge shared?

Today volunteers share their knowledge of the history of Tyntesfield with visitors through the spoken word. This often leads to conversation, an exchange of information, which is often lost or not publically shared. Magister Dixit can become a platform for this exchange, providing a space where audiences and the Tyntesfield teams can become part of and contribute to the history of the house.

The Working End by Nancy J Clemance will run from 10 May to 26 September at the Bridport Museum in Dorset. Clemance has spent many months researching Bridport Museum’s rope and net-focused Sanctuary Collection and engaging with the local community as part of her commission. The Working End comprises of three works: a projection of words, plus archival and new images; the ‘Knot Booth’ that she has used to invite knot contributions from members of the public, and the resulting sculptural piece. Clemance is also a New Opportunities Award artist.

Starting 22 May to 24 July, and in keeping with New Expressions spirit of forging new partnerships and developing collaborative skills, NOA artists Matthew Bennington and Richard Baines’ new work will use the art of storytelling to refresh the Penryn Town Museum’s collection. The museum links to the industry of ancient ports, and the artists will toy with the quirks of nostalgia through high quality craftsmanship. Commissioned by new art organisation Field Notes, the two artists are graduates of Falmouth University's BA Fine Art course and went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London.

The second of the three National Trust / New Expressions 3 commissions to go live will be The Collector's Case by Yelena Popova at Upton House in Warwickshire from 5 June to 31 December. Lord Bearsted, the son of Marcus Samuel - the founder of Shell Transport and Trading, acquired the Upton House estate in 1927. He was a prominent art collector and philanthropist. His son donated the house, gardens and art collection to the National Trust in 1948. 

Popova has been working with this amazing painting collection to uncover its history, secrets and stories. The Collector’s Case is a video work and series of ‘invisible portraits’ that reflect on the temporality of a painting collection how it exists or has a relationship with time. Her commission also reflects on the act of looking at and looking after paintings.

The full details of nine more New Expressions 3 projects will be announced soon. Please look out for regular updates at