Monday 23 March 2015

Whose meaning is it anyway?

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is how meaning/s at heritage sites can become fixed as chosen stories/histories are told over and over. I see this in the anxieties and resistance to changes that I encounter. It’s entirely understandable of course, but if the past is to be relevant to people’s lives today and we genuinely want to work with a range of different creative practitioners, then we have to be open to other perspectives, other meanings being attributed to what is already considered ‘known’.

When Robert Adam designed Croome’s Long Gallery, he had a particular idea and aesthetic in mind, and it would have been the most modern of ideas and aesthetics in the late C18th. And the room would have been used in a particular way by his client. But what will 10 artists make of it and how will their work alter the way the room, its aesthetic and purpose are perceived over the next two years? Some see it as a threat, but I think it will open things up at Croome in a new way and I’m curious and slightly impatient to see what new meanings might be exposed through their work.

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