The unique architecture of a popular County Durham park will become the focal point of a new upcoming art project.
Durham County Council’s community arts team has commissioned artist Ed Carter to develop a new piece centred around the architectural history of Sedgefield’s Hardwick Park.
From now until Spring 2021, Ed will be creating a piece that explores the influence of architect James Paine (1717-1789) on the park, and how connections between historic themes can still be observed within the park’s landscape.
The project will focus in part on the significance of Paine’s iconic “Temple of Minerva” and its dedication to the Roman goddess of wisdom, arts, and warfare.
Drawing on the relationships between the built structures, their surroundings, and the wider landscape, the project will bring together staff, volunteers, visitors, and local schools to discuss these themes and contribute individual perspectives. There will be regular updates online via the Hardwick park Facebook page, prompting people to share their experiences and memories of the park.
When finished, the project will be put on display for visitors to enjoy virtually, including through digital content accessible via the Love Exploring app.
Ed is an interdisciplinary artist who specialises in creating site-specific works. He has previously created pieces on the history of the North East’s coastline, using music and lighting projected at Durham Cathedral to tell the story of the development of the region’s first lighthouses.
His recent projects involve orchestral and electronic music and sound works, film, sculptures, and large-scale installations.
He has collaborated with a wide range of partners and has received awards and commissions from a broad range of organisations, including Arts Council England, Ordnance Survey, Cancer Research UK, The Arts & Humanities Research Council, Channel 4, and the Royal Academy of Engineers.
Cllr Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming Ed Carter as our first artist-in-residence at Hardwick Park. This is one of the most beautiful settings in the county, with some fascinating architectural features and stunning vistas.
“Ed’s past work spans so many different mediums of art, so it’s intriguing to think ahead to what he might create. This installation will help attract visitors to our beautiful park where they can enjoy its picturesque landscape and learn about its fascinating history.”
Ed said: “I’m very excited about my residency at Hardwick Park as there are so many different aspects to explore. I find the history of the site absolutely fascinating, particularly the relationship between the architectural features and their surrounding landscape.
“It’s really interesting to think about the intentions that shaped those creative ideas, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rejuvenation of the park as it has evolved from a private garden into an accessible public space.”
More information about the council’s community arts can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/communityarts.