12 November 2020

Furzey Gardens is one of six museums and heritage sites that have been selected to work in partnership with artists to commission a new work of art inspired by each venue.

Furzey joins Didcot Railway Centre; the National Paralympic Heritage Centre in Aylesbury; Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology in Reading; and ‘a space’ arts and The Brickworks Museum in Southampton to take part in the Meeting Point programme.

The gardens will work with artists next year to develop ideas that tie in with its centenary celebrations in 2022.

Steph Allen is Executive Director at contemporary arts agency Arts&Heritage, which leads the programme and said: ‘Arts&Heritage works with museums and heritage sites which have little previous experience of commissioning contemporary art.

‘We’ll be working with these six venues to pair each with an artist who will create a brand new piece of work – which could be anything from sculpture to a sound installation – created especially for the venue and inspired by its history and collections.’

The Meeting Point programme has previously worked with venues in the North East, North West and the midlands, partnering more than 20 museums with artists from across the UK.

As well as commissioning a new artwork which responds to their collection, each venue also receives training in best practice for working with artists.

Dawn Wood, Director of Development at Furzey Gardens, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with local artists on this project and the timing couldn’t be better as we hope to be able to unveil the work as part of our centenary celebrations of Furzey Gardens in 2022.

‘The gardens exist to support people with learning disabilities to learn new skills that help them live more independent, happier and healthier lives. Furzey is also a tranquil place for thousands of people to escape the stresses of modern life each year.

‘Exploring what the gardens mean to people through art will help us explore the essence of the gardens while producing a fitting tribute to all it has achieved in its 100 years.’

Meeting Point is led by contemporary art specialists Arts&Heritage (www.artsandheritage.org.uk). Meeting Point presents artworks in unexpected places and supports small and medium scale museums to commission artists, forging new relationships between the contemporary arts and heritage sectors.

Arts&Heritage is funded as a Sector Support Organisation by Arts Council England through its National Portfolio Organisation funding.

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