Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience: Creation, Consumption and Exchange

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: School of Arts and Cultures

Abstract

'Mapping contemporary art in the heritage experience: Creation, Consumption and Exchange' is an interdisciplinary research project that will critically examine the role and practice of temporary visual art commissioning within heritage properties in Britain today, mapping the current landscape and exploring the impact of this activity on its producers and audiences. It approaches this subject from multiple perspectives, bringing together the knowledge and experience of scholars, artists, heritage professionals, volunteers and visitors.
Art commissioning has always been linked with Britain's great historic properties. Recent decades have seen many heritage organisations vigorously re-engaging with contemporary art, investing in this as a way of developing new opportunities for public engagement with heritage properties and their histories. Arts organisations including Arts Council England (ACE) strategically support this work, promoting it as a significant means of fulfilling their mission to promote excellence and public benefit. For many artists commissioned work for heritage properties is an increasingly important strand within their practice.
However, and despite strong support from major organisations including the National Trust and ACE, the actual impact of such projects on their producers and audiences is poorly understood. Similarly there is little collective professional understanding of the broader character of the contemporary arts in heritage field and its commissioning practices. As a creative practice-led collaboration with two major UK heritage partners this project makes a strong and unique contribution to the production of new knowledge around this significant but under researched area of the visual arts.
Through case study research centring on the development of new art commissions at four heritage properties the project will explore in detail how contemporary artists engage with heritage narratives and how these artworks are received and consumed by visitors. The case studies will be accompanied by the production of a new online resource that develops, expands and digitises an existing audit of such projects making this publicly available as a platform for further professional exchange. In doing so the research will generate a better understanding of UK contemporary arts in heritage practice and its future development needs. To deliver the project, specialist scholars and artists from Newcastle and Leeds Universities will be joined by a professional curator from the leading art in heritage organisation Art & Heritage to work in partnership with ACE, The National Trust, Churches Conservation Trust and the Contemporary Visual Art Network.
The new understandings and insights generated by the project will be disseminated across the contemporary arts and heritage sectors. This will be achieved through the use of complementary channels designed for different target audiences: the public exhibition of the commissioned artworks at the heritage properties; a website and blog that will document the project for an online audience; a project exhibition profiling the commissioning process for the benefit of an arts and practitioner audience; a research report for circulation to our project partners, strategic arts and heritage organisations and relevant policy makers; an international conference aimed at sector specialists and academic audiences; conference papers and published articles in academic and professional journals.
As public facing research this project will have specific benefit for practitioners, organisations and heritage visitors as well as for other academics working in the contemporary arts and heritage field, including creative-practice led researchers. It has the capacity and potential to stimulate new public interest in contemporary arts in heritage practice in the UK and internationally as well as providing much needed new knowledge for the sector, including for its funders and policy makers.

Planned Impact

Through its research outputs the project has the potential to impact on three significant interest communities: (1) Heritage site visitors; (2) Practitioners working in the contemporary visual arts and the heritage sector; (3) UK visual arts and heritage organisations, including major UK funders and policy makers. How will these three communities benefit from our research?

(1) Heritage site visitors: The on-site exhibitions will give heritage visitors an opportunity to experience and engage with high quality contemporary art made in response to the specific environments and heritage contexts of the four properties. Through these encounters audiences will be presented with new and alternative ways to access the stories and histories of the four sites, which go beyond standard approaches to heritage interpretation. For regular and return visitors the commissioned artworks will provide opportunities to question and refresh their knowledge and experience of the property, potentially adding a new dimension to their appreciation and understanding of the site. For focus group participants the project will provide an intensive contemporary art in heritage experience that could stimulate future interest in and enjoyment of heritage and of the contemporary arts.

(2) Arts and heritage practitioners: The online digital resource and the project conference provide new routes for knowledge exchange, understanding and innovation between practitioners working in the contemporary visual arts and in the heritage sector. In particular these outputs will support artists, curators, heritage managers, education and interpretation specialists wanting to enter into the contemporary arts in heritage field or wanting to exchange and showcase their own projects and experiences. The artwork case studies, artists' talks and the Ex-Libris exhibition will provide insights into the commissioning processes behind the artworks, adding significantly to practitioners' understanding of the potentials and problems of commissioning contemporary visual arts for heritage sites. Through participation in the conference, as presenters and attendees, practitioners from both fields will access a broad range of perspectives on contemporary visual arts in heritage practice, significantly expanding their understandings of this field and generating new opportunities for professional networking and future project development, including with the HE sector. For the artists involved directly in the research the project will provide a substantial opportunity to extend their creative practice showcasing their work to new audiences in the heritage, contemporary art and academic worlds.

(3) Visual arts and heritage organisations: Our research will have specific benefit for our two heritage partner organisations, the National Trust (NT) and the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). It will directly feed into both organisations' understandings of the contemporary visual arts commissioning process and the impact of site-specific contemporary artworks on the audience experience of their properties. In doing so this research will make a valuable contribution to the future development of contemporary arts activity and strategy at NT and CCT. A briefing paper summarising key learning and research outcomes will also be prepared for Arts Council England (ACE), the key funder of current contemporary arts in heritage practice in the UK. We will also seek active routes for sharing our findings with other key heritage organisations not directly involved as partners in this project, including the Canals and Rivers Trust, English Heritage, Landmark Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Through this engagement and in providing empirical and academic standard research the project has the potential to make a strong contribution to future strategy development in this area of practice, going beyond the more sector-driven project evaluations and market focused studies so far conducted in this field.

Publications

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Title A new dance performance inspired by Martin Luther King's visit to Newcastle by Martin Hylton's Gateway Studio Project 
Description The research project commissioned Martin Hylton to produce a new dance based on a visit by Martin Luther King to Newcastle University in 1967. Newcastle was the only British university to award MLK an honorary degree. The dance commission was a significant addition to the portfolio of creative projects commissioned by the research project as it engaged a different kind of heritage. The dance was performed by dancers from Martin's Gateway Studio Project 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Audiences reported being emotionally moved by the performance. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title Commission proposals for National Trust and Churches Conservation Trust properties. 
Description Artists Brigitte Jurack, Jo Coupe, Gemma Burditt, Mira Calix, Marcus Coates, Emily Taylor and others were asked to produce commission proposals for three heritage properties: National Trust Gibside, National Trust Cherryburn and Holy Trinity Church Sunderland. These were presented to a panel of heritage staff who, working with the project team, made a selection that would be installed in the properties. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Heritage staff reported that their understandning of the art commissioning procees, and the value of art commissioning for heritage properties was changed as a result of the project. 
 
Title Conference for the Birds 
Description This amazing artwork was created by the artist Marcus Coates. It was a response to Thomas Bewick's birthplace, Cherrryburn - a property owned and managed by the National Trust. Marcus worked with a group of ornithological experts to create a sound installation with sculptures where humans 'inhabited' birds, discussing birds' behavioural traits in human terms 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The feedback on this artwork has been fantastic with many people commenting on how it changed their understanding of bird - and even human - behaviour. There have been requests to tour the artwork to other National Trust locations in the UK. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title Gogmagog 
Description A sound installation commissioned as a part of the research project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience'. Created by artist Matt Stokes, in collaboration with musicians, composers and others based in Sunderland, Gogmagog was commissioned for the Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland. The exhibition was open to the public from June to September 2018. The work was based on the score of a 'lost' bell peal composed in the 19th Century and recreated this peal with the participation of numerous local participants. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact There are numerous recorded testaments to the impact of this work, on local people who do not generally visit art exhibitions, on the commissioning organisation and on the artist himself - these are a few of many examples. I went up to HT [Holy Trinity Church] again this afternoon to have a proper listen to the piece. Oddly, its the first time I have been able to listen properly without any background noise, from start to finish. I was not prepared for it to be the moving and emotional experience it turned out to be. What you have done with a simple quarter peal of Bob Triples is both unique, and fabulous. I think you should be very proud indeed of what you achieved. As you know, I would dearly love a copy on CD if it can be done! (so would a few other people) Matt Stokes, the artist himself commented: I thought the atmosphere at the launch was great and very welcoming. One thing I felt was particularly successful was that the majority of people weren't 'art crowd', but made up of local residents, people I met during the research and musicians/singers. I had quite a few positive comments from people who came along, especially from the bellringers who were very curious as to how it all might end up sounding. Amanda Gerry, who worked on the commission for the Churches Conservation Trust, commented: I worked in Holy Trinity during the Tall Ships festival and the numbers of visitors to the space has been phenomenal (more than we had all year last year!), lots were drawn in by the music and we have had some fantastic feedback. We love Gogmagog .. (and Matt of course) he has really been able to relate to and bring alive the story of people and place which is exactly what Sarah and I were hoping for from the beginning, and it's had such good feedback. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Belsay Hall - Photographic documentation of Susan Philipsz's Art Installation 'The Yellow Wallpaper ' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Susan Philipsz's Art installation The Yellow Wallpaper at English Heritage site, Belsay HallPlease read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Belsay have to be credited to the artist Susan Philipsz, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)With no objects or furniture to link place to people, fading patches of wallpaper in the bedrooms reminded Philipsz of the melancholic and haunting short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), written by nineteenth century humanist author, Charlotte Gilman Perkins. In her work for Belsay, Philipsz's solitary and lilting voice curled through the empty upper rooms, coaxing the visitor to follow it - much like the hallucinogenic visions that seductively appear in the short story. The vocal works themselves were inspired by The Border Ballads, tales of love and death, usually told by a revenant (a person who has returned from the dead), which speak to Northumberland's wild, violent and beautiful Borderland past. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Belsay Hall - Photographic documentation of Susan Philipsz's Art Installation 'The Yellow Wallpaper ' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Susan Philipsz's Art installation The Yellow Wallpaper at English Heritage site, Belsay HallPlease read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Belsay have to be credited to the artist Susan Philipsz, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)With no objects or furniture to link place to people, fading patches of wallpaper in the bedrooms reminded Philipsz of the melancholic and haunting short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), written by nineteenth century humanist author, Charlotte Gilman Perkins. In her work for Belsay, Philipsz's solitary and lilting voice curled through the empty upper rooms, coaxing the visitor to follow it - much like the hallucinogenic visions that seductively appear in the short story. The vocal works themselves were inspired by The Border Ballads, tales of love and death, usually told by a revenant (a person who has returned from the dead), which speak to Northumberland's wild, violent and beautiful Borderland past. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Cherryburn - Photographic documentation of Mark Fairnington's piece, 'Walking, Looking and Telling Tales' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Mark Fairnington's Art piece Walking, Looking and Telling Tales at The National Trust, Cherryburn.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Cherryburn have to be credited to the artist Mark Fairnington, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)Contemporary painter, Mark Fairnington, took on the 'mantle' of Thomas Bewick, by 'following in his footsteps', recreating walks he made in the landscape surrounding Cherryburn over 200 years ago. Based on sketches of small but vivid details, such as a hanging swing he encountered along the way, Fairnington produced a series of small paintings, taking a contemporary viewpoint. These exquisite works were hung in Bewick's birthplace, a tiny cottage adjacent to the Cherryburn museum. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Cherryburn - Photographic documentation of Mark Fairnington's piece, 'Walking, Looking and Telling Tales' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Mark Fairnington's Art piece Walking, Looking and Telling Tales at The National Trust, Cherryburn.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Cherryburn have to be credited to the artist Mark Fairnington, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)Contemporary painter, Mark Fairnington, took on the 'mantle' of Thomas Bewick, by 'following in his footsteps', recreating walks he made in the landscape surrounding Cherryburn over 200 years ago. Based on sketches of small but vivid details, such as a hanging swing he encountered along the way, Fairnington produced a series of small paintings, taking a contemporary viewpoint. These exquisite works were hung in Bewick's birthplace, a tiny cottage adjacent to the Cherryburn museum. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Gibside - Photographic documentation of Andrew Burton's Art Installation 'The Orangery Urns' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Andrew Burton's Art installation The Orangery Urns at The National Trust, Gibside.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Gibside have to be credited to the artist Andrew Burton, and the respective photographer: either Colin Davidson or Andrew Burton (Please see file name)The Orangery Urns, sited within the walled garden and beneath Gibside's famous avenue, took as its starting point a group of ornamental urns that once graced the balustrade of Mary Eleanor's Orangery. During the period of Gibside's decay in the mid-20th Century these were removed and re-sited at the Bowes-Lyons principal seat at Glamis Castle. Andrew's work 'returned' the urns to Gibside, but by remaking them in a new form. His series of giant ceramic vessels were his response both to the story of Mary Eleanor and to the extraordinary sense of scale that is one of the features of Gibside. Some of these vessels were inscribed with texts taken from Mary Eleanor's journals and those of her plant collector, William Patterson, while others contain sculptural elements that suggested episodes and characters from her life at Gibside. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Gibside - Photographic documentation of Andrew Burton's Art Installation 'The Orangery Urns' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Andrew Burton's Art installation The Orangery Urns at The National Trust, Gibside.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Gibside have to be credited to the artist Andrew Burton, and the respective photographer: either Colin Davidson or Andrew Burton (Please see file name)The Orangery Urns, sited within the walled garden and beneath Gibside's famous avenue, took as its starting point a group of ornamental urns that once graced the balustrade of Mary Eleanor's Orangery. During the period of Gibside's decay in the mid-20th Century these were removed and re-sited at the Bowes-Lyons principal seat at Glamis Castle. Andrew's work 'returned' the urns to Gibside, but by remaking them in a new form. His series of giant ceramic vessels were his response both to the story of Mary Eleanor and to the extraordinary sense of scale that is one of the features of Gibside. Some of these vessels were inscribed with texts taken from Mary Eleanor's journals and those of her plant collector, William Patterson, while others contain sculptural elements that suggested episodes and characters from her life at Gibside. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Gibside - Photographic documentation of Fiona Curran 's Art Installation 'Your Sweet Empire is to Please' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Fiona Curran's Art installation Your Sweetest Empire is to Please at The National Trust, Gibside.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Gibside have to be credited to the artist Fiona Curran, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)Fiona Curran's work for Gibside takes its title from a poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), which is quoted by Mary Wollstonecraft as an example of women being depicted as delicate or exotic flowers, 'born for pleasure and delight alone'. The work focuses on Mary Eleanor's s passion for botany and collecting plants - an occupation that was all the rage in Georgian England. Specimens were transported from across the world to the Orangery at Gibside in Wardian Cases, containers that sheltered them from salt water and exposed them to light. Curran scaled up the Wardian Case to become a striking contemporary architectural feature celebrating Mary Eleanor's life - and the lives of all women whose aspirations have been stifled by society or abusive relationships. Exuberant tropical flowers burst from within the Wardian Case, which is positioned by the Gibside Orangery. Now a ruin, the Orangery became a poignant symbol of the state of the Stoney-Bowes marriage. For Mary Eleanor it was a place to nurture her beloved plants and seedlings; for Stoney, it was the focus of violent diatribes against 'damned weeds'. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Gibside - Photographic documentation of Fiona Curran 's Art Installation 'Your Sweet Empire is to Please' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Fiona Curran's Art installation Your Sweetest Empire is to Please at The National Trust, Gibside.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Gibside have to be credited to the artist Fiona Curran, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)Fiona Curran's work for Gibside takes its title from a poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), which is quoted by Mary Wollstonecraft as an example of women being depicted as delicate or exotic flowers, 'born for pleasure and delight alone'. The work focuses on Mary Eleanor's s passion for botany and collecting plants - an occupation that was all the rage in Georgian England. Specimens were transported from across the world to the Orangery at Gibside in Wardian Cases, containers that sheltered them from salt water and exposed them to light. Curran scaled up the Wardian Case to become a striking contemporary architectural feature celebrating Mary Eleanor's life - and the lives of all women whose aspirations have been stifled by society or abusive relationships. Exuberant tropical flowers burst from within the Wardian Case, which is positioned by the Gibside Orangery. Now a ruin, the Orangery became a poignant symbol of the state of the Stoney-Bowes marriage. For Mary Eleanor it was a place to nurture her beloved plants and seedlings; for Stoney, it was the focus of violent diatribes against 'damned weeds'. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Holy Trinity Church - Photographic documentation of Matt Stokes' Art Installation, 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Matt Stokes' Art installation 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' at Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Holy Trinity Church have to be credited to the artist Matt Stokes, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)As a starting point for his audio installation, Stokes' explored the history of the church and gathered narratives from local residents and groups. Gogmagog is based on an eight-bell 'Bob Triples' peal composed by Benjamin Annable in the mid-1700s, which was rung at Holy Trinity during the late nineteenth century. The 46-minute composition, developed in collaboration with local musicians, was played through a circle of eight speakers in the centre of the church nave. Five distinct sections, sung by community choirs and singular voices, drew on stories describing the founding of the church, Britain's first cholera outbreak, slum clearances, the dismantling of the nearby Garths housing estate and the opinions of residents today. The work was installed during Holy Trinity's restoration programme, so the necessity for visitors to wear hard hats added an extra dimension to the experience. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Holy Trinity Church - Photographic documentation of Matt Stokes' Art Installation, 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Matt Stokes' Art installation 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' at Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Holy Trinity Church have to be credited to the artist Matt Stokes, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)As a starting point for his audio installation, Stokes' explored the history of the church and gathered narratives from local residents and groups. Gogmagog is based on an eight-bell 'Bob Triples' peal composed by Benjamin Annable in the mid-1700s, which was rung at Holy Trinity during the late nineteenth century. The 46-minute composition, developed in collaboration with local musicians, was played through a circle of eight speakers in the centre of the church nave. Five distinct sections, sung by community choirs and singular voices, drew on stories describing the founding of the church, Britain's first cholera outbreak, slum clearances, the dismantling of the nearby Garths housing estate and the opinions of residents today. The work was installed during Holy Trinity's restoration programme, so the necessity for visitors to wear hard hats added an extra dimension to the experience. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Holy Trinity Church - Photographic documentation of Matt Stokes' Art Installation, 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Matt Stokes' Art installation 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' at Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Holy Trinity Church have to be credited to the artist Matt Stokes, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)As a starting point for his audio installation, Stokes' explored the history of the church and gathered narratives from local residents and groups. Gogmagog is based on an eight-bell 'Bob Triples' peal composed by Benjamin Annable in the mid-1700s, which was rung at Holy Trinity during the late nineteenth century. The 46-minute composition, developed in collaboration with local musicians, was played through a circle of eight speakers in the centre of the church nave. Five distinct sections, sung by community choirs and singular voices, drew on stories describing the founding of the church, Britain's first cholera outbreak, slum clearances, the dismantling of the nearby Garths housing estate and the opinions of residents today. The work was installed during Holy Trinity's restoration programme, so the necessity for visitors to wear hard hats added an extra dimension to the experience. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at Holy Trinity Church - Photographic documentation of Matt Stokes' Art Installation, 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Matt Stokes' Art installation 'Gogmagog: Voices of the Bells' at Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland.Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Holy Trinity Church have to be credited to the artist Matt Stokes, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)As a starting point for his audio installation, Stokes' explored the history of the church and gathered narratives from local residents and groups. Gogmagog is based on an eight-bell 'Bob Triples' peal composed by Benjamin Annable in the mid-1700s, which was rung at Holy Trinity during the late nineteenth century. The 46-minute composition, developed in collaboration with local musicians, was played through a circle of eight speakers in the centre of the church nave. Five distinct sections, sung by community choirs and singular voices, drew on stories describing the founding of the church, Britain's first cholera outbreak, slum clearances, the dismantling of the nearby Garths housing estate and the opinions of residents today. The work was installed during Holy Trinity's restoration programme, so the necessity for visitors to wear hard hats added an extra dimension to the experience. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at The National Trust, Cherryburn - Photographic documentation of Marcus Coates' Art Installation 'Conference for the Birds' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Marcus Coates' Art installation Conference of the Birds at The National Trust, Cherryburn. Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Cherryburn have to be credited to the artist Marcus Coates, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)Conference for the Birds was Coates' direct response to Thomas Bewick's lifelong work as a natural history artist, relating ornithology to today's species and environment. Gathering together experts in this field, Coates orchestrated a one day 'conference', where ornithologists 'inhabited' the species they so admired and spoke, imagining a first-hand perspective, as their chosen bird. The conference was recorded and edited by Coates, and presented through speakers positioned underneath huge sculptural birds' heads, positioned in the intimate space of Thomas Bewick's birthplace. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience - Exhibition at The National Trust, Cherryburn - Photographic documentation of Marcus Coates' Art Installation 'Conference for the Birds' 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting Marcus Coates' Art installation Conference of the Birds at The National Trust, Cherryburn. Please read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the installations at Cherryburn have to be credited to the artist Marcus Coates, and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)Conference for the Birds was Coates' direct response to Thomas Bewick's lifelong work as a natural history artist, relating ornithology to today's species and environment. Gathering together experts in this field, Coates orchestrated a one day 'conference', where ornithologists 'inhabited' the species they so admired and spoke, imagining a first-hand perspective, as their chosen bird. The conference was recorded and edited by Coates, and presented through speakers positioned underneath huge sculptural birds' heads, positioned in the intimate space of Thomas Bewick's birthplace. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_-_Exhibit...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience -Photographic documentation of 'Out of Place' Exhibition at The Hatton Gallery 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting installation photographs of Out of Place Exhibition at The Hatton GalleryPlease read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the exhibition Out of Place at The Hatton Gallery have to be credited to the exhibited artists, Andrew Burton, Marcus Coates, Fiona Curran, Mark Fairnington, Susan Philipsz, and Matt Stokes and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)The Out of Place exhibition, at Newcastle's Hatton Gallery (29 June - 10 August 2019), formed a key output of the 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience' project. Through this exhibition our six commissioned artworks, made for and originally presented in four North East heritage sites, were re-situated within a new gallery setting. Out of Place posed questions about the artwork's 'site-specificity' and how the meaning and experience of the commissioned artworks might be changed through this redisplay. In the gallery, each work was presented without the contextual information provided when they were encountered within their heritage setting and that originally inspired the artist. Susan Philipsz, Andrew Burton, Matt Stokes and Mark Fairnington all chose to re-present the artworks commissioned in 2018, with Mark also exhibiting some new paintings not included in his original installation. Fiona Curran decided to create a new work that built further upon her exploration of Gibside's historic themes. Marcus Coates produced a parallel version of his sound installation that was, at the time, also on display at Cherryburn. In the exhibition we invited each artist to say how they thought the gallery context changed their work. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_Photograp...
 
Title Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience -Photographic documentation of 'Out of Place' Exhibition at The Hatton Gallery 
Description This folder includes images from MCAHE project depicting installation photographs of Out of Place Exhibition at The Hatton GalleryPlease read in conjunction with the Project Overview MetadataImages of the exhibition Out of Place at The Hatton Gallery have to be credited to the exhibited artists, Andrew Burton, Marcus Coates, Fiona Curran, Mark Fairnington, Susan Philipsz, and Matt Stokes and the respective photographer: Colin Davidson (Please see file name)The Out of Place exhibition, at Newcastle's Hatton Gallery (29 June - 10 August 2019), formed a key output of the 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience' project. Through this exhibition our six commissioned artworks, made for and originally presented in four North East heritage sites, were re-situated within a new gallery setting. Out of Place posed questions about the artwork's 'site-specificity' and how the meaning and experience of the commissioned artworks might be changed through this redisplay. In the gallery, each work was presented without the contextual information provided when they were encountered within their heritage setting and that originally inspired the artist. Susan Philipsz, Andrew Burton, Matt Stokes and Mark Fairnington all chose to re-present the artworks commissioned in 2018, with Mark also exhibiting some new paintings not included in his original installation. Fiona Curran decided to create a new work that built further upon her exploration of Gibside's historic themes. Marcus Coates produced a parallel version of his sound installation that was, at the time, also on display at Cherryburn. In the exhibition we invited each artist to say how they thought the gallery context changed their work. 
Type Of Art  
Year Produced 2021 
URL https://data.ncl.ac.uk/articles/figure/Mapping_Contemporary_Art_in_the_Heritage_Experience_Photograp...
 
Title Out of Place 
Description The exhibition 'Out of Place' held in the Hatton Gallery during July and August 2019 re-displayed all the artworks commissioned for the project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience' in a new context - that of a 'white cube' art gallery. The aim was to see how the works would change their meaning when removed from the context for which they were created - various heritage sites in Northern England - and situated in a more typical venue for art consumption 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The artists involved reported understanding and appreciating their own work in a different way. The audience response was similar, particularly amongst those who had seen the works in their original 'heritage' contexts. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title The Orangery Urns, Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience 
Description Ceramic sculptures by artist Andrew Burton One of a set of contemporary artworks commissioned for a heritage property - in this instance National Trust Gibside - by the research project Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience. (MCAHE) 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Gibside is the National Trust's most visited property in North East England. MCAHE invited audiences and property staff to describe their response to the artwork. Listed below are the responses from National Trust staff describing the ways in which Gibside, as a visitor business, found having art within and around the walled garden to be beneficial to their operation. These successes are based on the experiences of the staff and volunteer teams, visitor behaviour and the benefit to us as a business. - Having art within and around the gardens has given Gibside unique and individual interpretation which catches the attention of visitors. With less than a second to grab someone's attention and make an impact, traditional forms of interpretation often fail to intrigue visitors in a dynamic and engaging way. The impressive visual impact of the urns in the garden creates a vivid first impression. The urns have provided a very useful hook for telling our story. In particular our tour guides have found them an engaging way of introducing people to Mary Eleanor's story. - Gibside's involvement with MCAHE in general has been an engaging experience for our volunteers. For our garden volunteers the urns have had a particular impact. Members of the team have had a real sense of pride in caring for the planting within the urns and talking to visitors about them and why they are here. Caring for the planting has created a sharp sense of stakeholdership among individuals and buy-in from the wider volunteer team for Gibside's future projects. - The process of commissioning, installing and talking about the artworks has challenged the Gibside team and our ways of thinking. The process was new to us all. It us to welcome creatives to Gibside for future projects. We have more confidence in the process. - The artwork has seen an increased engagement with Gibside's story from our visitors. As part of the National Trust's wider Women and Power National Public Programme, visitors have welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the female stories at National Trust places. At Gibside a spike in book sales about Gibside's story is evidence of visitor interest and activity of the volunteer research group to understand more of the hidden stories of Gibside among the volunteer base. - Visitor data shows a change in visitor composition. For Gibside, one of the objectives of involvement with MCAHE was diversification of our visitor makeup. In particular we wanted to welcome more visitors we categorise as Young Independents through our doors. Between May and October 2018 we welcomed 10,007 Young Independent visitors (17.05% of our visitors) compared to 7081 visits in 2017 (10.19% of our visitors). Compare this also with a regional average of 9.16% of Young Independent visitors it is evident this summer Gibside saw an increase in this visitor segment. We used targeted marketing to support this drive. For example, adverts in printed publications such as The Crack. With a readership mainly in central Newcastle The Crack is a more accessible publication appealing to a younger audience. - Introducing creative interpretation to the gardens has energised volunteer creativity in other ways. For example, our volunteer sewing group have created their own interpretation of Gibside's story by creating stitched and embroidered tapestries for the chapel. The group felt confident to embrace creative ways of telling Gibside's story on the back of the artwork. Why we would like the urns to remain at Gibside for longer - On a storytelling level the urns have real potential to tell children our story. Gibside has welcomed 10310 school children so far this year. The urns are a fantastic visual tool for engaging children with Gibside's story and with art. We would be happy to support any additional research elements at Gibside which might explore how children and young people feel and respond to the artworks. - During the winter months the greenery and plants in the garden die back and the walled garden loses a lot of its colour and vibrancy. To some this gives the urns an increased visual impact in the garden and an opportunity for us to drive a secondary wave of storytelling. We feel there is more learning to be done for the Gibside team, in particular using the urns as a storytelling tool during the winter. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title The Yellow Wallpaper 
Description The Yellow Wallpaper was a sound installation created by artist Susan Philipsz as part of the project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience'. The project was co-commissioned by MCAHE and English Heritage for the English Heritage property Belsay Hall in Northumberland and was on exhibition during the summer of 2018 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Members of the visiting public reported finding the work beautiful, enigmatic and moving. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title Walking, Looking and Telling Tales 
Description An exhibition of small paintings commissioned by the artist Mark Fairnington. The paintings were commissioned as part of the research project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience' and were a response to the life of the engraver Thomas Bewick and his home at Cherryburn, Northumberland. Cherryburn is now owned by the National Trust, a partner in the research project and the exhibition, held in the birthplace at Cherryburn was open to the public from June 2nd - 4th November 2018 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The main impacts were on the property staff, who gained a new understanding of the value of contemporary art in shaping visitor perceptions and appreciation of Cherryburn and the stories of Bewick, on visitors to the property and on Mark Fairnington, the artist who has reported that the project has reshaped his approach to paining, resulting in further landscape paintings and other commissions. 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Title Your Sweetest Empire is to Please 
Description Your Sweetest Empire Is To Please Fiona Curran The title of Fiona's Curran's work for Gibside is taken from a poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825) which is quoted by Mary Wollstonecraft in her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) as an example of women being depicted as delicate or exotic flowers, 'born for pleasure and delight alone.' The artist has responded to the harrowing and dark story of Gibside's first female owner Mary Eleanor Bowes by focussing on her aspiration to become recognised as a serious botanist and collector of plants. The Orangery you see before you was Mary Eleanor's finest achievement; it was here she cultivated her plants and flowers, aided by her loyal gardener. Mary Eleanor also sponsored a plant collecting trip to the African Cape. Plants were transported back from countries all over the world in containers that mimicked greenhouses, allowing the plants to be shielded from salt water but to absorb light. The Wardian Case was a perfect example of such a container and through her research for this work for Gibside, Fiona visited Kew Gardens to see the only original example left in England. With craftsman John Smith, she has scaled up the Wardian Case to become a striking contemporary architectural feature. Your Sweetest Empire is To Please celebrates Mary Eleanor's life and those of women who were repressed by society and/or relationships, their education and aspirations stifled and contained. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The National Trust Gibside reported increased visitor numbers amongst particular target age groups. They also reported that audiences had understood the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes in new and different ways as a result of the commission. The project also coincided with the National Trust's national theme for 2018 'Women and Power' 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Description The research examined how the commissioning of contemporary art projects by heritage organisations impacts upon their staff, volunteers and public audiences, and upon the artists creating the work. In recent decades, commissioning contemporary art has become a significant part of heritage site programming with heritage organisations vigorously re-engaging with contemporary art, investing in this as a way of developing new opportunities for public engagement. Motivations for this vary and include the commissioning of artists to reinterpret heritage assets, to uncover previously neglected narratives or form an alternative strand of programming aimed at new and returning audiences. Despite the prevalence of such projects, prior to 2017 there had been little research or critical literature on this subject, leading to the formation of the MCAHE research project. As a focus for the research a series of 'case study' artworks were commissioned for sites in North East England with their impact tracked over an extended period.

A number of key findings are emerging. Firstly, the availability of well formulated interpretation of contemporary art commissions at heritage properties to visitors. Most heritage visits are not made with the primary purpose, or in anticipation of a contemporary art encounter. Our research showed that whilst visitors appreciated artwork interpretation when offered, if it was not, many had difficulty or spent little time engaging with artworks. The second finding was the role that heritage volunteers can play in shaping the overall heritage experience. Heritage Organisations rely heavily on volunteers to enrich their visitors' experience, introducing them to interesting features or historical narratives that might otherwise be missed. Significantly, most volunteers do not understand this role as extending to introducing or interpreting contemporary artworks, nor are they usually asked to do this by the HO. This finding was reinforced in a survey commissioned in 2019 by our PP the Heritage Volunteering Group in which nearly half of all heritage volunteers were seen as working in front of house, education or engagement but only 3% were seen to be working in exhibition-based roles. Volunteers do not feel equipped to fulfil such a role because they are not typically offered any induction or training to help them interpret contemporary artworks or provided background information about the art or the artists. Nor is the rationale for heritage organisations commissioning contemporary art well understood by many volunteers. Engagements between volunteers and visitors do take place, but without being grounded in informed contextual knowledge that would support a rich and meaningful interpretation of the artwork, conversations may default to an exchange of personal responses which can be positive and stimulating, but also risk the work being misunderstood. In many cases an opportunity for a meaningful and rewarding engagement that will enrich the experience of both visitor and volunteer is missed. In failing to capitalise on opportunities where volunteers could pro-actively engage visitors with discussion of the artworks, the full value of the investment that has been made in the art (in terms of time, money, resources and the creative energy of the artist) may not be realised.

Sector context. The absence of systematic training which would support volunteers' ability to introduce and interpret contemporary art, and the value of providing this, is recognised both by heritage organisations and volunteers. In MCAHE research interviews, heritage managers expressed concern that the absence of training or induction can result in a lack of volunteer 'buy in' to contemporary art projects. They emphasised the potential of a training programme to "bring [volunteers] onside" while also "challenging them". "Volunteers have to travel with us and be professional and help the audience" (NT manager). Heritage managers identified the need for mechanisms whereby volunteers might be seen as 'ambassadors' for contemporary art. Papers and panel discussion presented at the July 2019 MCAHE Conference reiterated the importance of developing volunteers as 'advocates' for contemporary art, and emphasised the critical position volunteers have in influencing audience appreciation of artworks as well as the need for greater engagement with volunteers throughout the entire art commissioning process. The importance of training opportunities was emphasised in the HVG survey where, of 63 participating heritage organisations, 75% identified volunteer development, training or experience enhancement as their top priority after volunteer recruitment. Recent academic literature provides further evidence for the value of volunteer training as well as key characteristics that should inform its development. Growth in the heritage voluntary sector, with increasing reliance on non-paid staff (Holmes 2003; Orr 2006) has seen an increase in those working in front of house roles. Volunteers are 'serious leisure participants', 'wanting to learn and socialise' and wishing to 'self-mediate heritage' in their motivations to begin and to continue in their voluntary roles (Lockstone-Binney et al. 2010, Orr 2006; Stamer 2008). Scholars emphasise the desire for continued learning and the place of social interaction, particularly in the retention of volunteers. Stamer (2008) points to the benefit of investing in volunteers through training which contributes to a sense of ownership and belonging, making volunteers 'insider visitors'. Volunteers become 'advocates for heritage' through better understanding of the work/site relationship (Holmes 2003). As 'bridges' between visitors and staff, volunteers with increased knowledge, social capital and confidence can work as advocates and, as Holmes also proposes, as consultants in the production of visitor experiences.

In MCAHE interviews, volunteers expressed enthusiasm about introducing visitors to contemporary art, but pointed out that they would need to gain the competencies to do this. They recognised their potential to influence visitors' initial encounters and improve visitor retention time at the site; "It depends how intensively [the visitor] engages with the art as to whether the meaning really comes across" (volunteer interview). The presence of contemporary art was shown to influence volunteer activity in unexpected ways: "Introducing creative work has energised volunteer creativity. For example, our volunteer group have created their own interpretation of [heritage property] story by creating embroidered tapestries for [one of its architectural features]. The group felt confident to embrace creative ways of telling one property's story on the back of the artwork" (NT Events and Programming Officer). Feedback from heritage organisations hosting our case study artworks showed how contemporary art has the potential to attract and engage new and more diverse audiences, a strategic aim expressed by all organisations s in the HVG survey. "One of the objectives of our involvement with MCAHE was diversification of our visitor makeup. Visitor data shows a change in visitor composition. We wanted to welcome more visitors we categorise as Young Independents. Between May and October 2018 [the period the commissions were on-site] we welcomed 10,007 Young Independent visitors (17.05% of our visitors) compared to 7,081 visits in 2017 (10.19%). Compare this also with a regional average of 9.16%. It is evident we saw an increase in this visitor segment" (NT Events and Programming Officer). There is also the potential for contemporary art programming impacting on the make-up of the volunteer base, with the under 35s targeted by heritage organisations s as an area for growth (HVG survey).

MCAHE focus group research showed that heritage volunteers saw benefit from interacting with the artworks. Our volunteer focus group activities included peer-to-peer learning, group social interaction and knowledge and confidence development. Volunteers reported that they gained confidence to discuss the art and became open to alternative viewpoints, enabling a reflective rather than 'reflexive' response. When the research involved volunteers directly with our case study commissions there was a demonstrable readiness to engage, and a strong and positive response. "For our volunteers, working with the sculptures has had a particular impact. They have had a real sense of pride in talking to visitors about them and why they are here. [We've seen] this lead to buy-in from the volunteer team for [heritage property] future contemporary art projects" (NT Learning and Engagement Officer). MCAHE also explored the impact of art commissioning upon HO staff, closely engaging a number with the full extent of the commissioning process. This included staff involvement in brief writing and artist selection, then making studio visits, identifying community groups for artists to work with and working with artists during installation. HO managers reported that this was transformative. By enabling staff to fully invest in the programme, both managers and the front of house team became more supportive of the contemporary art programme, gained a greater understanding of its value and built their confidence in discussing the artworks with stakeholders. "The process of commissioning, installing and talking about the artworks has challenged the [staff] team and our ways of thinking. The process was new to us all. we welcome creatives for future projects and have more confidence in the process" (NT Learning Officer).
Exploitation Route By developing further art commissioning opportunities
Sectors Creative Economy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description The selection process for our artists commissions are already impacting on processes used by heritage organisations. An additional partner in our project, English Heritage have taken on board our research in joining with us to commission a new artwork for one of their heritage sites. Our research has been highlighted in art/heritage media outlets. At the time of writing, our research is being used to develop new policy and practice initiatives in discussion with heritage organisations. The outcome of these discussions will be known later in 2020 Our research is changing the ways heritage organisations work with their volunteers. We are exploring this, and devising new strategies through the project Volunteer Voices Our research is changing the way heritage organisations think about telling 'their stories'. We are exploring this, and devising new strategies through our project All Our Histories
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Volunteer Voices. New policies being developed and rolled out within our partner heritage organisations
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Better engaging heritage organisation's volunteers as interpreters of contemporary art commissioned for heritage properties
 
Description Faculty Impact Award
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Newcastle University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Description Volunteer Voices: Engaging Volunteers with Contemporary Art and Heritage
Amount £79,762 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/V000799/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2020 
End 09/2021
 
Title MCAHE database 
Description Data on visual art projects in heritage sites in the UK since 1990 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Conference abstracts 
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Description Churches Conservation Trust 
Organisation The Churches Conservation Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have worked with CCT on the development and delivery of commissioned artwork and many associated events and activities
Collaborator Contribution CCT worked closely with us on bid development, and then with all stages of the art commissioning process and its delivery and exhibition
Impact artworks, public facing events, soup suppers, publicity, artists talks
Start Year 2016
 
Description English Heritage. Belsay commission 
Organisation English Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution English Heritage are coming on board as a collaborating partner in this project to commission a new artwork for Belsay Hall
Collaborator Contribution English Heritage are contributing both funding and in-kind support. They have also successfully raised funds from Arts Council England for this commission
Impact none yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description English Heritage. Belsay commission 
Organisation English Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution English Heritage are coming on board as a collaborating partner in this project to commission a new artwork for Belsay Hall
Collaborator Contribution English Heritage are contributing both funding and in-kind support. They have also successfully raised funds from Arts Council England for this commission
Impact none yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description National Trust, Collaborations on art commissions 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The National Trust are a key partner in the research project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience'. Three of the project commissions by artists Fiona Curran, Mark Fairnington and Andrew Burton have been at National Trust properties in North East England (Gibside and Cherryburn) and the National Trust team have been closely involved with the project at all levels, for example senior management in guiding the project and property teams - including volunteers - working closely with the academic research team on the practical aspects of the artworks.
Collaborator Contribution The National Trust team have been key players throughout the project - they have co-created the commission briefs, sat on the selection panels, been closely involved in all aspects of the commissioning process including the practical business of installing the artworks
Impact Artworks, workshops, public facing events, exhibition talks, exhibition guides and interpretive material, seminars, presentations,
Start Year 2017
 
Description Out of Place, TWAM 
Organisation Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution we are working with TWAM on exhibition development and delivery
Collaborator Contribution TWAM are working with us on exhibition and delivery
Impact exhibition plans
Start Year 2018
 
Description Volunteer Voices Partners in the Heritage Industry 
Organisation Durham Cathedral
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution organising and delivering workshops for Durham Cathedral volunteers and working with the Durham Cathedral Volunteer Manager on training
Collaborator Contribution Partnering with us on the development of volunteer workshops and training
Impact Volunteer Voices workshops, volunteer training and project report
Start Year 2020
 
Description Volunteer Voices Partners in the Heritage Industry 
Organisation English Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Organising and delivering workshops for heritage volunteers
Collaborator Contribution Partnering on the development and delivery of workshops for heritage volunteers
Impact Workshop development and delivery. Volunteer training
Start Year 2017
 
Description Volunteer Voices Partners in the Heritage Industry 
Organisation Hoxne Heritage Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have worked with the HVT to develop our dissemination plans for the project
Collaborator Contribution The HVG have worked with us to develop dissemination plans for project outcomes, including their conferences, regional meetings and newsletters
Impact The Volunteer Voices training package and films
Start Year 2020
 
Description Volunteer Voices Partners in the Heritage Industry 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Organising and conducting workshops attended by National Trust staff where volunteer training is developed
Collaborator Contribution Attending workshops where volunteer training is developed
Impact workshops, report preparation, volunteer training
Start Year 2017
 
Description A film made by teh Baltic Centre for Contempoary Art film makers Gary Malkin and Sarah Boutell 'Andrew Burton, The Orangery Urns' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact one of four films commissioned documenting the creative process behind the creation of the visual artworks for the research project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Description All Our Histories 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshops with stakeholders in the contemporary visual art ecology to explore the reasons behind statistically low representation of BAME early career artists in art in heritage setting commissions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description Cherryburn public picnics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Artist Marcus Coates held a number of art picnics to introduce the public to his artwork 'Conference for the Birds' sited at Cherryburn, birthplace of the engraver Thomas Bewick
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Conference for the Birds, School workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Marcus Coates, one of the artists commissioned to produce work for the project did a series of school workshops at local primary schools. The children also visited the art installation at Cherryburn, a National Trust property in the Tyne Valley.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Focus group workshop. Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A series of focus group discussions in front of the artworks created for 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience'. The focus group meetings aimed to introduce the works and explore how they changed audience understanding and appreciation of their heritage property visit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Description Out of Place, exhibition launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An opening for our exhibition 'Out of Place' was attended by several hundred people. The opening featured talks and a performance by a local group of singers who had contributed to one of the art commissions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Poetry, Clay and Gibside 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Workshops were held where the poet Linda France worked with a group of participants to respond to the sculptures created by Andrew Burton as part of the project 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience'. Once the poems had been written, participants worked with facilitator Sophie Headdon and Andrew to create clay 'tablets' for display at Gibside
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at Newcastle University Heritage Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was an event organised by Heritage@Newcastle to raise awareness across the sector of University research engaging with heritage issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Project launch event for stakeholders in the activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Over 60 people from heritage organisations, funders, other stakeholder organisations and academia attended a launch event for our project. This was an opportunity to introduce the project and invite discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Pupblic launch of artworks and artist's talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Approximately 150 visitors attended a public launch of the art commissions 'The Orangery Urns' by Andrew Burton and 'Your Empire is My Sweetest Desire' by Fiona Curran. Each artist gave a talk in front of their works (each was situated in the open airt at the National Trust property 'Gibside'. Whilst an admission charge is usually payable, visitors attending for the event were able to gain free access to the property.
The talks introduced the public to the works, and sparked discussion. The National Trust have reported the impact on their activities, and these are set out in the 'artworks' section of this project report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Description Real to Reel - Craft Council Film Festival Tour 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact REAL TO REEL: THE CRAFT FILM FESTIVAL
A film festival showing the best of international craft and featuring a film by Sarah Boutell and Gary Malkin about Andrew Burton and the project Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience

Film tour venues:
Cowra Regional Art Gallery, NSW, Friday 1 November 2019
Potentiale, Feldkirch, Austria, 8-10 November 2019
Central Craft, Alice Springs, NT, Friday 29 November 2019
The Backlot, West Perth, Australia, 2 August 2019
Camelot Indoor Theatre, Perth, Australia, 9 August 2019
Nova Cinema, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia, 22-23 August 2019
Wooran Foundation, Seoul, South Korea, 23-25 August 2019
Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney, Australia, 5 September 2019
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Liverpool, Sydney, Australia, 21 September 201
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
 
Description Real to Reel: Andrew Burton: The Orangery Urns / Gary Melkin, Sarah Bouttel / 2018. Craft Council Film Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Real to Reel was a competition organised by the Crafts Council for the best films produced internationally about craft-based practice. Our film documented 'The Orangery Urns' a commission by Andrew Burton. The films were screened at a special event over several days in May 2018 at Picturehouse Central, Shaftesbury Avenue, London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/real-to-reel-the-craft-film-festival
 
Description Soup Suppers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Matt Stokes organised a number of 'soup suppers' where participants in his project and members of the public were invited to share a bowl of soup over a discussion of the project, music and singing. These were always popular events, and helped bring knowledge of our project to its audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mcahe/
 
Description Volunteer Voices workshops and training development 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Volunteer Voices pilot training programme was structured around seven participatory workshops, artists' studio visits and site visits taking place over four months, April - July 2021. Because of restrictions on in-person meeting and social distancing measures in place during the height of the Covid19 pandemic the original plans for our workshops had to be amended, with the first three sessions shifting to online delivery via Zoom. The continuing uncertainties around local infection rates and changing Covid19 restrictions also meant that our plan for a final two-day residential workshop (at Ushaw) had to be abandoned. This was reconfigured as a smaller-scale one-day participant feedback event held at Newcastle University accompanied by two separate 'Sounding Back' sessions with the volunteer cohort and with volunteer managers held in September and November.

Workshop 1: 'Introduction to contemporary art in heritage practice' (22 April 2021, half-day session via Zoom). Led by members of the NU project team this first session was designed to introduce volunteer participants to the different approaches taken by contemporary artists in making artworks for heritage sites, including discussion of some basic contemporary art terms e.g. a 'commission', 'residency', a 'performance' or 'installation'. To open up participants thinking and to demonstrate these different approaches, a wide range of project examples were presented and explored in PowerPoint format. Following the presentation the group was then split up into smaller break-out rooms where participants were invited to share and discuss their own experiences of encountering contemporary art in heritage sites and the opportunities or issues they saw in talking to their own visitors about such activities, with each room then feeding back their findings to the full group.

Workshop 2: 'Contemporary art in heritage - exploring issues and experiences' (6 May 2021, via Zoom). Building on the opening discussions this second session looked in detail at three case study art in heritage projects, including presentations and Q&A with the curators, commissioners and one of the artists involved. A range of common issues were considered and examined: from artists' and organisational expectations to volunteer responsibilities and the problems of addressing negative audience reaction. Recapping on debate held in the first workshop, a quick-fire activity at the close of Workshop 2 invited the volunteers to give their own definitions of 'contemporary art': exploring a critical issue of language which continued to arise in many of our workshop discussions.

Workshop 3: 'Meeting the artists (1)' (20 May 2021, virtual studio visits via Zoom). Originally planned as in-person studio visits, but switched to online delivery, the aim of this session was to hear from artists themselves about how and why they want to make work for heritage places. The volunteer cohort met three artists during this workshop, each of whom had previously worked on a 'Meeting Point' commission managed by Arts&Heritage: Faye Claridge; Nadim Chaudry; and two members from the artist collective Brass Art. Each artist gave an individual presentation on their practice before joining together as a panel to answer volunteers' questions. An online resource pack with links to the artists' websites and selected projects was provided in advance of this workshop in order to familiarise our participants with the different practices we would be exploring and to help them to develop their own questions for the presenting artists.
Workshop 4: 'In a pickle - talking to visitors about contemporary art' (3 June 2021, in-person). This workshop - which was the first opportunity for our VV volunteer cohort to meet in-person - was hosted by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. The workshop was co-delivered by Hayley Mills, Head of Visitor Experience at BALTIC, and a member of the BALTIC Crew - the gallery's front of house and live interpretation team. This session was also attended by some of our property Volunteer Managers. The session started by talking about the BALTIC Crew's 'factory settings' approach to talking to gallery visitors about the BALTIC exhibitions. It was noted that a key enabler was the individual time Crew members were given to do their own research on the artists and the artworks, and also how team members supported each other by sharing visitors' questions and feeding back on any difficult issues raised. Attending artist or curator talks and undertaking a Crew-led walk-through of the exhibition pre-opening was an important part of their preparation. As Hayley observed, gallery visitors need to work harder with some artworks than with others and artists themselves are often resistant to the idea of providing extensive written interpretation. Thus there was no set script for talking about an exhibition at BALTIC - instead the Crew's focus is on facilitating friendly, informal, and explorative visitor conversations around the exhibitions and artworks presented: an approach that our VV heritage volunteers were encouraged to take on.
Workshop 5: 'Meeting the artists (2)' (17 June 2021, in-person). Following on from our previous virtual 'meet the artists' workshop, this session gave our volunteers the opportunity to meet two artists, Wolfgang Weileder and Irene Brown, in their personal studio spaces at Newcastle University and also to take part in an in-person interactive workshop led by socially-engaged artist Lady Kitt. Each artist explained to the volunteers why they found working in heritage sites so interesting and how they researched and made work in response to these places. Visiting the artists in their workspaces, seeing artworks in progress, and hearing directly from the artists about their very different approaches to heritage-based practice, this session had a great impact on our volunteer cohort. It was described by at least one of our participants as a real 'eye-opener' - a session that brought the whole purpose of making contemporary art 'to life'.
Workshop 6: Site visit to 'In Praise of Makers' at Colne Valley Museum (1 July 2021, in-person). For this full day session we took our VV participants on a day trip to visit a new art commission 'In Praise of Makers' by artist Ed Kluz, being launched at the small volunteer-run Colne Valley Museum - an industrial heritage and social history museum on the outskirts of Huddersfield. Hosted by the museum's Chair of Trustees (and well-fortified with tea and delicious home-made cakes!) our participants had the opportunity to learn about the building's history and to tour the museum collection and its fascinating working exhibits in the company of CVM's volunteers. Small group sessions in the afternoon gave our VV volunteers the opportunity to talk directly with Ed about his inspiration for the commission and the local craft-based collaborations that were involved in creating the art installation.

Workshop 7: Volunteer Voices wrap-up discussion (15 July, in-person at Newcastle University). In this final workshop we asked VV participants to reflect on their experiences of the pilot training and to contribute their ideas about how the programme could be developed for future heritage volunteers. This interactive session was structured around a series of round table conversations and comments walls. During this session we revisited discussion on the reasons why heritage organizations are engaging with contemporary artists and gathered feedback on the value and effectiveness of our various programme activities. We then asked our participants to make suggestions about how they might share their learning from VV with fellow volunteers at their heritage properties, and to outline any additional support, going forward, that they might need to help them do this. Volunteers' suggestions for taking VV forward are discussed in the Sounding Back section below.

Additional VV activity

In addition to the workshop sessions outlined above, and to stimulate further social opportunity and contemporary art in heritage discovery, we also organised a series of voluntary visits to new contemporary art installations being presented over the summer months (July and August 2021) at three north east National Trust properties. There were: Phoebe Connolly's, Birds, Beasties and Bewick at Cherryburn; Lindsay Mendick and Dominic Watson's Waasa at Washington Old Hall; and Heinrich and Palmer's Limelight at Lindisfarne Castle. Each visit provided a very different experience for the volunteers. Whilst Heinrich and Palmer's digital works at Lindisfarne presented an ethereal and immersive experience, Birds Beasties and Bewick made direct reference to the work of eighteenth century printmaker Thomas Bewick through intricate glass engraving. Wassa animated a vast empty room in Washington Old Hall, presenting a ceramic feasting banquet of decay and folklore.

To facilitate and support the VV project a dedicated pilot resource hub was set up on the Arts&Heritage website. A password protected page led VV participants to Zoom session recordings, PowerPoint presentations, homework tasks and online resources that could be used in preparation for and as follow-up after the various workshop sessions and visits. These resources proved popular with our volunteer group with many participants using the links we provided to artists' projects and websites to research and formulate their own questions and debating points for our workshop discussions and the studio visits.
In addition to gathering feedback on the programme content and participants' experience of individual VV workshops (through Zoom 1:1s and online evaluation forms) to conclude the project we ran two in-person 'Sounding Back' sessions to further interrogate our collective learning from the VV pilot and to consider practical ways in which the programme could be taken forward. In the first session, the University Team reported back to the Volunteer Managers and to our heritage partner organisations on the discussions and issues raised by our volunteer participants at the VV Wrap-Up Workshop. Each organisation then responded to propose ways in which volunteer needs and suggestions might be accommodated or considered within their own future programming and volunteering structures. This then led on to a second 'Soundings' session where we facilitated a set of four property-focused exchanges in which our volunteers fed back directly to their volunteer managers and their programme leads on the VV experience and their ideas for taking this forward.
The recommendations and ideas put forward by VV volunteers for improving volunteer involvement in contemporary art presentation at heritage sites coalesced around three broad themes. The first of these themes is better communication. As our various workshop conversations around the institutional reasons for engaging with contemporary art demonstrated, our volunteers were not always conversant with or entirely clear about why their own heritage organisation or property was supporting or thinking about this type of activity. Without such understanding volunteers' confidence and interest in talking to visitors about contemporary artworks at their site and their wider buy-in to the overall contemporary art in heritage offer, could be undermined. While we appreciate the considerable lengths that some artists, curators, and heritage managers do go to in seeking to engage property volunteers with arts projects, our VV participants felt that their organisations needed to invest more staff resources in improving communication with their volunteers on this subject and also more generally in providing better lead-in information on what a site might be planning in terms of longer-term art programming. Often our volunteers thought that they were end of the line for receiving this type of information, with the result that art projects felt sprung upon them rather than actively involving them.

Secondly, our participants felt that heritage organisations could perhaps do better in valuing volunteers' contributions and potential, both in terms of drawing on an individual's prior, or indeed parallel, work experience and skill sets, but also more broadly as an active resource and asset to the organisation. As in our own VV participant cohort, many heritage volunteers hold deep knowledge about the histories and material collections of the properties where they volunteer. Those taking on visitor-facing roles, especially, are often enthusiastic educators - keen to share their own fascination, knowledge, and excitement about their site with the visiting public.

Thirdly, with the new confidence and interest in contemporary art derived from their involvement in the VV training, our participants were vocal in wanting a deeper engagement with contemporary art projects and programming at their heritage site, seeing this as essential to their future role as on-site contemporary art interpreters. Reflecting on their experiences of VV, getting to meet with commissioned or exhibiting artists prior to the public launch of an art project (and preferably earlier on), having the opportunity to ask their own questions of the artist and to share with them their own knowledge of the site and understandings of the visitor experience, were voiced as a key benefit and future need. Going further, VV participants suggested that in future, trained volunteers should be invited to play an active role in the commissioning process, with representation on artists selection panels for individual projects, and joining discussions with artists and property staff on appropriate methods for artwork interpretation and evaluation.

Beyond the commissioning process itself, VV participants suggested several practical ways in which they, and future VV 'graduates', could be more creatively engaged in the presentation of contemporary artworks at their volunteering site.

"We could"
• organise a workshop or social event with the artist for fellow volunteers to come to.
• give a guided tour or talk about the artwork.
• lead a walk-through of the installation/exhibition for other site volunteers.
• produce an interpretation video introducing the artwork to visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
 
Description studio visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A studio visit was made by members of the National Trust team to view and discuss research being developed in my artist studio in Newcastle.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018