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‘There is light in the fissures’

While we were at Belsay Hall this week, Wendy and I were lucky enough to see this series of installations by Dr Ingrid Pollard MBE. There are twelve installations in the exhibition in all, from the large and arresting piece above—a large sandstone rock suspended on jute ropes—to printed acrylic panels filling in gaps where the original wallpaper has torn away.

Other works include printed voiles over windows, slate tiles carefully arranged in the library, and mirrors placed in the quarry garden.

Wendy and I both reflected on how challenging it must be for an artist to be commissioned to display work that responds to and exists within a Grade I listed building. We both thought that there were some interesting ideas in each of the installations, but none of them particularly connected with us, nor made us reflect differently on the space or our surroundings. Perhaps that was, in part, because this was our first visit, so we have no conception of how the artworks changed our response to the Hall.

We’ll have to visit again.

This post was filed under: Art, , .

Belsay Hall

In 2009, I completed a geriatrics rotation, during which I helped with clinics on the Belsay Day Unit at what was then the Newcastle General Hospital.

It’s only taken 15 years to get around to visiting Belsay itself—and specifically, Belsay Hall.

Built a couple of hundred years ago, and recently restored, it was an unusual and rather interesting experience to visit an old hall which hasn’t been stuffed full of period furniture; it feels more like its decay has been arrested, rather than like it has been restored to a version of its former glory.

The handmade wallpaper may be peeling from the walls in places, but it felt like a hall with real character. The Grade I listed quarry gardens were also spectacular.

This post was filed under: Photos, Travel, , , .

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