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New art partnership between Attingham Park and Pentabus calls for artists for the LEGACY project

The LEGACY project, a partnership between the National Trust’s Attingham Park and Pentabus Theatre is calling for artists to join the project and work with young people and local communities from autumn 2019, to create a site specific artwork which will be displayed at Attingham Park.  

LEGACY is a Trust New Art collaboration between Attingham Park and Pentabus and will explore the gift of Attingham Park to the National Trust by Thomas, Lord Berwick in 1947. The project is delivered by the National Trust and Pentabus, and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, part of Trust New Art, National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts.

Sophie Motley, Pentabus’ Artistic Director said “We are delighted to be partnering with Trust New Art and Attingham Park on this project. This collaboration is at once local and national, born of a rural space, deep in the heart of South Shropshire yet accessible to all. The opportunity to collaborate with Attingham will enable new community, artist and volunteer partnerships, and most importantly, an excellent artistic output.”
Often described as the single most generous gift to the National Trust, Lord Berwick left the mansion and grounds “for public benefit” under the care of the Trust. Together Attingham and Pentabus are exploring what this means today. 

The partnership will be commissioning artists to work with young people and local communities to share and create their own experiences of Attingham Park. These will then form the basis of a site specific art installation, which will be shared with the public at Attingham Park from autumn 2020. A visual artist / designer and a socially engaged artist are sought to explore what legacy really means for a number of different communities through their relationship to Attingham.

Claire Tafft, Attingham’s Visitor Experience Manager, said “We’re excited to be working collaboratively to explore what Attingham means to people who already know it well, but also for those who don’t. Our staff and volunteers are looking forward to opening up more opportunities to continue the legacy of the 8th Lord Berwick by involving local communities in this new creative project.”

Attingham Park, Shrewsbury, is one of the greatest estates in Shropshire. An impressive late-18th century mansion and collection, landscaped Repton parkland with views across the ancient Shropshire countryside, a deer park, a productive organic walled garden and orchard and tenanted farmland of some 4000 acres.  The parkland at Attingham is one of the richest and most important nature conservation sites for veteran trees and invertebrates in England and for this reason is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England. Attingham has experienced the highs of huge wealth as well as the lows of benign neglect. Formerly owned by five generations of the Berwick family, it was gifted to the National Trust in 1947 and now welcomes over half a million visitors each year.

As a national rural theatre company, Pentabus have been a key figure in rural touring theatre and on the national theatre scene for the past 45 years. They are now pioneering a new strand of work called Theatre in Surprising Places – engaging with communities with little or no access to the arts – which sees them work with communities of place or interest to create new theatre projects which tell their stories. This is done through regular and deep engagement between artists and communities, a shared interest or theme, and working towards a final product over a period of time. They have to date made work with farmers and lifeboat men, with net makers and bus drivers, and with residents of our local communities. 

For more information on LEGACY and to download the artist briefs visit nationaltrust.org.uk/thelegacyproject or email attingham@nationaltrust.org.uk 

For information about Trust New Art visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trustnewart

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