Bring Into Being; Chiswick House, W4; From May 17th 2021; £8.50 adults, £4.24 children
Chiswick House & Gardens have commissioned three site-specific art installations by Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger, acclaimed Ghanaian-British electronic musician and sound artist Peter Adjaye and a durational installation by Jaimini Patel. The new impressive 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 pre-existing audiences to reconnect with the past, present and the future of this iconic heritage site through its eclectic and multicultural 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 & Gardens. Allowing us to reflect upon the past year and the challenges the pandemic has brought upon us as a society, Chiswick House invites visitors to reconnect with themselves, each other and the natural world.
Peter Adjaye will present an eight channel site-specific soundscape titled We Bear the Light of the Earth In Red, Green, Brown and Black (2021) spread across four spaces inside the House. Via QR codes audiences can experience Sunrise of Invisible Gold and Sunset in Rippling Bronze at the entrance of the Gardens and Ionic Temple. The soundscape 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.
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 gardeners of Chiswick House. 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.
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 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 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.