Nestled in the middle of a 1,000 acre National Trust park in Knutsford, Cheshire, the Tatton Park Biennial 2012 showcases new commissions, including works by Northwest-based artists, during the course of the summer.
Housed in a Georgian mansion, its private gardens and parkland, the Biennial adheres closely to the theme ‘Flights of Fancy’. Of the Biennial’s curatorial practice, curators Danielle Arnaud and Jordan Kaplan of Parabola described that ‘We have always been at pains to commission artists from a range of backgrounds to create work that challenges and surprises audiences, and to do this in a way that doesn’t alienate our visitors, we develop a strong curatorial rationale, with outreach work, signage, guides and audio tours that can discuss complex work and its inspirations in a manner that welcomes (rather than repels) new audiences’.
Following along these lines, much of the work is easily accessible to a range of audiences. Artist Olivier Grossetete’s Pont de Singe features a suspended bridge over a pond held up by three white helium-filled balloons in the Japanese Garden. The bridge, which is non-functioning, and its balloons, allows the viewer to question the impossibilities of flight.
The trio of Manchester and Glagow-based artists who comprise Brass Art created a three-dimensional inflatable sculpture of a seven metre-long head titled Trine Messenger. Inspired by classical images of the god of sleep, the Surrealist work is situated on an inaccessible patch of grass on the far side of a small pond. Brass Art developed the contours of the sculpture’s face based upon a series of biomedical facial scans and used these blueprints to create a three-dimensional sculpture.
Other works included in the exhibition also commented on the impossibility of human flight and are scattered throughout the private garden, park and mansion house.
Tatton Park Biennial is on until 30th September 2012.
Words Carol Huston
Photography Clara Casian
Published 14.05.2012 by Bryony Bond