Bring into being

27 May – 31 October 2021

Bring Into Being was an experimental programme of art commissions, events and workshops, curated by Mariam Zulfiqar.

We presented three site-specific artworks by Peter Adjaye, Jaimini Patel and Mark Wallinger, alongside workshops and events, Bring Into Being responded to the many incarnations of Chiswick House and tested the future possibilities of our Grade 1 listed site.

The global pandemic brought into sharp focus a need for self-reflection and reconnection with nature. A year of separation from our friends and families further highlighted our basic desire for human connection.  We wanted to pose the question as we navigate the personal, social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century – what role can Chiswick House play in supporting the emergence of new futures?

Matter as the densest form of energy – energy as the lightest form of matter, 2021 by Jaimini Patel. Image by Thierry Bal

In the 18th century, architect and landscape designer, William Kent, contrived sections of Chiswick Gardens to appear natural and organic while other parts remained more formal. The House, designed by Lord Burlington in collaboration with Kent, was partly influenced by the Roman architect Vitruvius whose ideas placed human proportions at the centre of his design thinking.  

Bring Into Being drew on the history, design legacy and current status of Chiswick House and recognised the impact of these ideas on shaping society. We invited artists, musicians, scientists and students to reimagine our future and their cross-disciplinary perspectives highlight a range of ideas that support new forms of engagement via this historic site. 

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

Jaimini Patel’s artwork, created from discarded organic materials from the Gardens invited reflection on temporality and transformation.  Mark Wallinger’s artwork, presented in the Exedra behind the House, is a poignant reflection on time that brings together fleeting moments with the daily and yearly cycles of the earth.  Marks work will remain until October 2024. Peter Adjaye’s artwork, created with musicians of South Asian and West African heritage, responded to diverse stories hidden in plain sight at Britain’s historic buildings and places.  Alongside the three commissioned artworks, the programme also presented workshops by Ansuman Biswas and Prof. ChamkaurGhag, Yiran Duan, Lauren Dutton, Jasprit Singh and students from UCL Urban Laboratory.  

Bring Into Being covered a wealth of topics including time, natural cycles, representation, consciousness and perception, and broadens the ways in which we can reflect on and connect with this site, our surroundings, ourselves and each other.  

What our visitors said:

“It was a great experience. The curation was very well done, went above my expectations. The exhibition was fabulous (especially Jaimini Patel and the soundscape by Peter Adjaye were fab). I liked how they both riffed off the house to create their pieces. Congrats to all the team. I’ve taken the time to do a feedback, which I normally don’t do, because I think it’s important to give encouragement and thanks when people have gone the extra mile with their hearts to do something special for our enjoyment and experience. So BRAVO EVERYONE AT CHISWICK HOUSE!!!! With much appreciation.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed visiting the house and exhibition. I thought it was wonderful and now will bring my teenage children in future. The music and leaf installation was fantastic. It would have been good to have another installation in the empty wing.”

“I found my visit to Chiswick House to be very relaxing and soothing — the musical installation by Peter Adjaye was particularly comforting and made me feel relaxed and at home. I was inspired and engaged by the interpretation, and stimulated to look at the details of the house and architecture around me.”

“Peter Adjaye is one of three artists bringing a new ambience to London’s ornate and historic Chiswick House.” By Carline Roux, Financial Times

Thanks to our funders:

Bring Into Being was funded with public funds from Section 106 and the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The Culture Recovery Fund was 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 were 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 worked in partnership with English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow, UCL Urban Laboratory and CorkYogis for our activities.

Links Signs provided signage for the exhibition and has generously sponsored Mark Wallinger’s sundial in the Gardens.

Peter Adjaye

Peter recorded a three-part audio artwork inside Chiswick House for Bring Into Being in 2021.

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Jaimini Patel

Jaimini’s artwork for Bring Into Being was created in residence at Chiswick House in 2021.

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Mark Wallinger

Mark’s piece British Summer Time was part of 2021’s Bring Into Being exhibition.

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