Announcing Bring Into Being, our new artistic programme opening on 27 May

We’re delighted to announce a new artistic programme Bring Into Being which envisions a new direction for our beloved 18th-century English Heritage site, transforming the public space into a cultural hotspot in West London. The new programme boasts an impressive list of artist commissions, events and activities brought to you by some of the most sought-after names across art, music and science. All events are open to the public and tickets for the opening weekend of events plus House and Kitchen Garden entry are now available to book online.

We have commissioned three site-specific art installations from artists Peter Adjaye, Jaimini Patel, Mark Wallinger. This new contemporary art programme marks Chiswick House’s first leap beyond a heritage site and towards becoming a hybrid space that supports diverse forms of creative practices.

Curated by Mariam Zulfiqar, Bring Into Being invites new and existing audiences to reconnect with the past, present and the future of this iconic heritage site through its eclectic programming. The upcoming exhibitions and events aim to provide a vehicle for exploring the personal, social, and environmental challenges of the 21st century in the historical milieu of Chiswick House and Gardens, allowing us to reflect upon the past year and the challenges the pandemic has brought our society. Chiswick House invites visitors to reconnect with themselves, each other and the natural world.

Peter Adjaye will present an eight channel site-specific artwork titled We Bear the Light of the Earth In Red, Green, Black and Brown, 2021 spread across four spaces inside the House. Using QR codes audiences can experience Sunrise of Invisible Gold, 2021 and Sunset in Rippling Bronze, 2021 at the entrance of the Gardens and Ionic Temple. The artwork has been created in collaboration with internationally recognised musicians meditating upon different styles and textures of music and instruments prevalent across South Asia and West Africa. Adjaye’s sonic landscapes point towards the many narratives, hidden in plain sight across this Grade I-listed historic location. The artwork features Alok Verma, Jali Fily Cissokho, Jonathan Mayer, Kaykay Chauhan, Rekha Sawhney and Robin Christian.

Image: Rekha Sawhney records with Peter Adjaye in the Green Velvet Room

Jaimini Patel’s durational site-responsive installation Matter as the densest form of energy – energy as the lightest form of matter, 2021 is created from organic materials collected from the gardens by the artist with the help of Chiswick House gardeners. The profoundly moving artwork is determined by the seasonal growth of plants and human intervention in the landscape. Spanning two rooms in the House, the work created during winter/spring will be joined by one created during spring/summer, arriving later in the exhibition. The labour-intensive process of collecting, drying, pressing and freezing the leaves plays a significant role in the artist’s reflection of time. Located on the first floor of the House, Patel’s artwork ruminates upon cycles of life and the human desire for permanence in an ever-evolving natural world. Patel’s work is a salute to renewal and re-imagination as the pressed leaves capture a moment in time after which time will transform the organic matter into energy for something else.

 

Image: Detail from Matter as the densest form of energy – energy as the lightest form of matter, 2021, by Jaimini Patel.

Mark Wallinger’s artwork British Summer Time, 2021 consists of a human sundial in the grounds, and on the hour the sound of a music box playing a familiar waltz accompanied by drifting bubbles. Wallinger has designed an analemmatic sundial precisely calculated to the coordinates of the Chiswick House Exedra. The visitor is invited to become the ‘gnomon’ and the shadow they cast points towards the correct time of day, positioning them within the Earth’s daily and yearly cycle around the Sun. British Summer Time, 2021 is a celebration of the summer months and the joy of being outside in the sunshine, while the fragility of the bubbles and ephemerality of our shadows are evocative of the transience of all such moments.

Image: Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger

Alongside the new art commissions, Chiswick House and Gardens will present an array of workshops led by textile artist Yiran Duan, photographer Jasprit Singh, architect and yoga instructor Lauren Dutton, and a collaborative workshop led by artist Ansuman Biswas with astroparticle physicist Prof. Chamkaur Ghag. The programme will also present a series of student-led workshops and events with UCL Urban Laboratory, UCL’s platform for cross-disciplinary, public-facing urban research, teaching and practice.

Curator Mariam Zulfiqar said: ‘Bring Into Being was devised as a programme to test the future possibilities of Chiswick House and Gardens. Now a Grade I-listed site, it has had many incarnations in the past. We are experimenting with different forms of activity to see what kind of future this site might have, and the ideas of artists, musicians, scientists and other creative practitioners are central to generating new forms of connection between people and this site.’

Xanthe Arvanitakis, who joined as Chiswick House and Gardens Director just as Covid hit, said: “Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have been able to keep the Gardens open throughout the pandemic. It has proved to be a vital asset for the local community and we’re proud to be welcoming more visitors than ever. We’re incredibly excited about the prospect of re-opening the doors to the House and developing our vision “for everyone every day”. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with such a talented group of artists who have responded so wonderfully to this special place and this extraordinary moment in time.

Thanks to our funders:

Bring Into Being is funded with public funds from Section 106 and the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The Culture Recovery Fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, using funds provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The community activities have been made possible with generous support from David and Wendy Chivers, Andrew Fane OBE, John Giles, Anne Mercer, Jimmy Weir and our anonymous donors. We are working in partnership with English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow, UCL Urban Laboratory and CorkYogis for our activities. Links Signs is providing signage for the exhibition and has generously sponsored Mark Wallinger’s sundial in the Gardens.

Press information:

For images and interview requests please contact Leighanne Murray and Kasimiira Kontio

leighanne@artpr.net | 07521394876; kasimiira@kasimiirako.com l 07470062111