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Funding from Art Fund helps deliver Harewood At Home

Harewood_House ThanksGarden how-to’s from Trevor, Head Gardener of 20 years, behind the scenes tours of the Collections with curators and an insight into a day in the life of a Bird Keeper are just some of our content presented daily online as part of Harewood at Home.

As the gates to Harewood have remained closed over the past three months, the virtual doors were opened wide from the beginning of lockdown, with daily online content made possible through new funding from Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art.

To date, highlights have included podcasts with bird keepers, live creating sessions with plasticine model maker Jim Parkyn, a walking tour of the Himalayan Garden with the 8th Earl, David Lascelles, and video interviews with Rebecca Burton, Assistant Curator. Harewood has created hands-on learning and gardening tutorials and also used the charity as a platform to showcase contemporary artists and their work.

Emily Booker, Development Manager at Harewood said, “It’s great news that we received this additional and vital funding support at this time. Harewood is a charity, and as such we feel we have a duty to share the Collections at Harewood with the public. We’re working hard to create the best quality stories and insight online, and share this as far and wide as possible, to hopefully create some benefit for people at this difficult time. Grants like these enable us to reach more people in increasingly creative ways.”

The grant of £3,300 has been used to better equip the content team and charity with technology, enabling Harewood to work with external specialists for podcasts and film making and creating an opportunity to evaluate and adapt content to the audiences online.

There’s still plenty of content to come, as the House will remain closed once the garden reopens to the public early next month.

Keep up to date with Harewood on Social Media @HarewoodHouse

With grateful support from Art Fund.

Art Fund Support

Staying Creative with artist Juli Bolaños-Durman

“By slowing down, going back to basics and making something with our hands like our ancestors did to survive…”

What are you working on during lockdown?

When the lockdown happened, I found myself really stressed listening to the uncertainty of it all in the news, so I decided that for my mental health I would turn them off and started to draw and colour. For me, this is an activity that I have enjoyed since I can remember, and thanks to my studio practice, I have made it a ritual that allows my nervous system to calm myself, self-regulate from a space of hope and joy; now more than ever.  But when I started to share these exercises on my social media, I realised my audience responded to these and thought to myself how I could support an international community from my perspective. This is how #StayCreative with Juli was born, fostering community at heart by focusing our energy on what we CAN control and that is our actions and the blank piece of paper in front of us. These are a series of free activities such as illustrations for you to trace, download or print and make 3D sculptures using materials from your recycle bin. I have put together some videos for the audience to join me in staying creative and tapping into this powerful tool. Find out more at www.julibd.com/staycreative

Also, I have been strategizing on how I can use this time to develop a new line under my studio practice umbrella that could give me more flexibility working from home, instead of my usual glass sculptures that need specific specialised machinery, studio space and team-work. Here is where drawing comes into again. I want to continue to push forward my illustration by promoting more pattern making projects, wallpaper design and illustrate short stories for kids focusing on themes of resilience, vulnerability and creativity during uncertain times. Hopefully, this will bring in new projects and clients while indirectly promoting my overall creative practice helping to weather the storm. By focusing my energies on activities that give me hope and not being run over by the fear of it all. But most importantly, fostering more community engagement, the value of non-formal education and how we can use creativity as a vehicle for innovation.

What is inspiring you at the moment?

This pandemic has reinforced my curiosity and methodology to be even more resilient and resourceful, using what we do have around us working from home and having a positive contribution. This is an opportunity that invites us to see things from a different perspective and how we can give a second chance to waste material to become a symbol of revival and authenticity. 

Also, watching how the community has come together to support one another and the courageous task the essential workers have taken on. I want to be a part of a caring community and contribute from my perspective for a better system moving forward.

How might craft help us rebuild a better future?

In a world where we can no longer compete with machines, our education systems need to be modified from teaching facts to thinking with our hands. By promoting a persistent spirit of inquiry and resilience, guiding us into adapting to these uncertain times and building a more just world filled with beauty for everyone to appreciate. Craft is one of these tools which must be put at the forefront and invested in.

Every time we make/mend something, it is a poetic act of rebellion, a challenge to our current consumer habits and the status quo; now more poignant than ever. By slowing down, going back to basics and making something with our hands like our ancestors did to survive. By connecting to this visceral bond between the maker/ material and how this playful methodology is a tool to foster joy; a powerful life-force that can only be fostered within ourselves to share and create a better world.

#StayCreative at home, and download Juli’s resources below

– Juli Bolaños-Durman, May 2020

Reasons to be excited about food and drink at Harewood

Harewood_House_FoodandDrinkFood is synonymous with Harewood House, a place where a fully working Walled Garden has provided fresh produce to estate residents and workers, the local community and those further afield for hundreds of years, including during two wartimes.

As part of Harewood House Trust’s broader commitment to the environment and sustainability, including looking at food production, transport and seasonality, a new food and drink offering was due to be presented to visitors this season. A full offering will now be on hold until the green light is given to reopen and operate in a greater capacity alongside recommended guidelines.

The new caterer in the Courtyard Café and the Terrace Tearoom is the Harewood Food & Drink Project, a company that has been engaging diners with their innovative events and commitment to sourcing the very best of local produce since they were set up in 2016. HF & DP was established to promote, showcase and celebrate the heritage of food and drink production in and around Harewood, they’re committed to using seasonal produce grown, reared and foraged on the estate, alongside working with the best of local suppliers. We felt it was important to partner with a caterer who shares and promotes similar philosophies to us, understanding the provenance of food and the impact of food miles.

Here’s the vision for food and drink at Harewood, built around the 5 S’s:
Simple – Simple dishes cooked to perfection

Seasonal – Using ingredients when they are at their absolute best

Sustainable – Champions of  the field to fork, plot to plate and zero miles philosophy, much of what diners will enjoy will be sourced from the Harewood estate and Walled Garden.

Sourced Locally – Working with the very best of local producers and suppliers

Specials – Ever changing seasonal specials board

Harewood_House_food

Photo Clare McClean

Harewood Food & Drink Project has received widespread acclaim for their dining experiences and events over recent years, and also own and run the popular Muddy Boots Café in Harewood Village. Once fully open again, their Executive Chef Josh Whitehead will oversee the menu at the Courtyard and Terrace Tearoom. He was crowned “Best Chef in Yorkshire” at the Yorkshire Post Oliver Awards earlier this year and is a former semi-finalist in 2016 MasterChef: The Professionals.

Innovative collaborations have included a number of bespoke beers with award-winning Leeds brewers Northern Monk, using hops from the Walled Garden; and Whittaker’s Gin Harewood Greystone Gin, made from the hand-picked mulberries from the 150-year old tree growing alongside the Harewood lake, and elderberries foraged from across the estate.

“We are really excited to be working with Harewood Food and Drink Project to deliver our brand-new food offer at Harewood. Earlier this year we underwent a competitive tender process to select a new partner and HF&DP really impressed us in terms of their commitment to menu innovation, quality, provenance and sustainability. We have already been working with them to deliver private events in the house and Courtyard, the most impressive of which was our Christmas Magic by Moonlight dinner, an enchanting candle-lit, long table dinner hosted amongst the Renaissance Masters in the Gallery.

“During our closed season, our Courtyard Café and Terrace Tearoom have undergone a refurbishment, working with Leeds botanical studio, The Plant Room, and we look forward to opening them alongside some delicious new menus to our Members and visitors as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
Rachel Crewes, Head of Trading

To find out more about food and drink at Harewood.

Orpheus – the story of a statue

As May is Share-a-Story month, here’s a story about one of the most photographed sculptures at Harewood, Orpheus, the magnificent bronze sculpture by German-born British artist Astrid Zydower, installed on the Terrace at Harewood in 1985.

Inspired by the figure from classical mythology, his story is one of both enchantment and tragedy.

According to legend, Orpheus was the son of Calliope, the muse of epic poetry. He perfected the art of music, taught how to play the lyre by Apollo and known for his love for his wife Eurydice and his journey to the underworld to rescue her from death. He is said to have used his musical prowess to persuade Hades to release Eurydice, granted only on the condition that Orpheus walk out of the underworld without looking back. Emerging from the kingdom of the dead, Orpheus turned back to check on his wife, only to see Eurydice vanish before him.

Today, Orpheus stands on the former site of a large Victorian fountain installed by the architect Sir Charles Barry as part of the original design of the Terrace. The fountain was lost in 1976 due to frost damage, and it was up to the 7th Earl and Countess to decide how to replace it:

“When our Victorian fountain fell down, literally overnight, we thought at once of Astrid and spent many hours discussing with her and with Dicky [Richard Buckle] what we should put in its place. We wanted a musical subject, we thought, but it was not easy to think of the right one…we saw her maquette for the figure she was making for Lincoln Kirstein and realised that this was exactly right. We wrote to Lincoln to ask his permission and received an enthusiastic “Yes!”.

On 14 May 1985 Orpheus took his place on the Terrace at Harewood where he was unveiled by actress and friend of the 7th Earl and Countess of Harewood, Penelope Keith.

Harewood’s Orpheus plays homage to his character’s musical talents, seen with a tamed leopard resting on his outstretched arms. Rather poetically, Orpheus also looks out onto a landscape designed by ‘Capability’ Brown, who literally moved rocks, rivers and trees to create it. Harewood_House_OrpheusPhoto

Today, Orpheus provides an impressive focal point for visitors who enjoy the stunning vista from the Library in the House across the Terrace. He is not only a reflection of the personal interests and musical knowledge and skill of the 7th Earl and Countess – a sophisticated statement about the individuals who once lived here – but also a 20th century nod towards the neo-classical decoration that adorns much of the House, where the pantheon of Greco-Roman gods and goddesses oversee everything.

Stay connected with Harewood on @HarewoodHouse on Instagram and Facebook.

A Family Love Affair with Birds, by Ben Lascelles

Harewood_House_Trust_BirdsWith a degree in Environmental Management and Economics, Ben Lascelles is the son of the current Earl of Harewood and manages the Harewood Estate, whilst playing an active role in contributing to the Charity’s Bird Garden management.

1. What’s your background and connection to Harewood Bird Garden?
I manage the Harewood Estate, the land surrounding the charitable Trust, and am Chair of the Harewood Bird Garden Advisory Group.
I’ve always loved the outdoors and birding is a great excuse to get outside and observe the world around us. As kids we’d spend a lot of time outside, climbing, swimming, having picnics and exploring. I think my first proper bird experience was visiting the famous RSPB reserve of Minsmere in Suffolk, close to where my grandmother lived for some years.

I had a year off before studying Environmental Management and Economics at York University, heading to Nepal and working as a guide in a safari lodge. This is where I really got into wildlife photography.

2. Where have your bird studies taken you?
The nature of my studies has enabled me to travel all over the world and work on some incredibly varied and far reaching projects. This has included time on a remote mountain range in Southern Tanzania, which had a lot of unusual and rare species of birds, a year working in Mauritius, contributing to a project to study the Pink Pigeon, a species we kept for many years in the Harewood bird garden, several years in the most famous rare bird migration spot in the UK, the Scilly Isles and then a project with the Smithsonian Institute in Panama, Central America.

I’ve also studied topics closer to home such as projects on Drax Power Station, Dalby Forest and Pocklington Canal, but these international visits have expanded my knowledge about the importance of conservation, what interventions work in different locations and given me a passion to share this knowledge and these incredible bird species where I can.

HarewoodHouse_Trust_birds2

3. What do you know of your family’s love for birds?
My grandparents had a strong interest in and love of birds when they established the Harewood Bird Garden in 1970. I was also aware that my father had an interest via film work he undertook on various research trips in the 70s. However, the family connection reaches much further back. Harewood was home to an 18th Century menagerie and Charles Canning received an award for the introduction of Himalayan pheasants into England. Later my grandfather was President of the World Pheasant Association for many years.

Gerald Lascelles, son of the 4th Earl, was a competent falconer from an early age. He wrote several pioneering books on falconry and land management and was a land manager in the New Forest for many years. When moving back to Yorkshire some years ago, I enjoyed learning about Princess Mary’s interest in birds and of her ornamental owl collection. I thought I’d built up quite a good selection of owl figurines over the years, put to shame by her Faberge Owl!

Ben Lascelles, Harewood Estate (3)

4. Why is an understanding of birds and bird conservation important/enriching?
In our globalised world, it’s more important than ever that we’re aware of the impacts our choices can have on the environment and the species within it. Consumer choice drives so much of our politics and economics that making informed decisions about what we buy is a key part of sustainability and conservation. Until recent years, we haven’t always been aware of the impacts we have or the choices we can make.
Birds are great indicators of what’s going on in the world around us and how their numbers fluctuate can inform us around how sustainable different practices are.

And in this fast-paced world, taking time out to just sit and observe is a great release for stress and anxiety. Mindfulness and wellbeing are easily associated with watching birds.

5. As Chair of the Bird Advisory Group at Harewood House, what role do you play?
I was asked to set up and chair the Advisory Group around five years ago. The group provides advice and recommendations to the Harewood Trustees for all matters relating to the Bird Garden. I’m keen to better make the connection between conservation works here at the charity and on the estate with those going on abroad.

The mantra of “think global, act local” is a good one. The group is a forum for assessing and adopting best practice in the Bird Garden across a range of topics such as ethics, fundraising for the charity, project development and collection planning. With my background in science, I’m trying to bring some data driven rigour to our recommendations and help make connections to conservation projects round the world, which is where the Bird Garden has a role to play, in connecting young people.

6. What’s significant about Harewood’s bird collection and role?
50 years is a long time for a small collection such as ours to keep running. We’ve always had excellent care of the birds in our collection and over the years some notable successes in breeding in captivity. This is a critical step before reintroduction schemes can take place.
In recent years we’ve scaled the collection back somewhat to allow us to focus our efforts on key areas where there is a connection to Harewood, including South America, the Himalayas, parrots and our native wildlife.

The Harewood Bird Garden plays an important role in raising awareness for the plight of some of these endangered species, through the appreciation gained through seeing them and learning about them from the keepers and from a visit to Harewood.

To learn more about how you can play your role in supporting the Bird Garden Appeal, read more here.