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Out Of The Fire!

Behind the Scenes at the foundry with our photographer Colin Davison…

‘Very dusty and quite dangerous!’ were the first words Colin used to describe his experience of the foundry where two new Antony Gormley pieces are being made for Harewood…

The foundry process is only one part of the production, done one at a time, the piece is prepared ready at the studio, made from polystyrene blocks carefully and precisely cut and assembled to plan, then sprayed with a ceramic coating to create a shell of sorts around the polystyrene.

The piece is then buried in hard-packed sand, this is called ‘ramming’. A day or two later, ‘blowback’ sparks fly as the hot iron is ‘poured’, the sand acts as a barrier to contain the hot metal once the polystyrene has burned away… and then it is all left to cool completely…

A couple of days later the piece must be ‘knocked out’ and excavated from 2 tons of sand, it’s a strange and gruesome sight, black with ash and rough around the edges… the piece is then ready to go to the studio to be ‘fettled’, essentially cleaned up ready for oxidising and then on to Harewood ready for the exhibition!

A specially commissioned film documenting the process of the two pieces being made will be shown alongside the exhibition at Harewood, including an exclusive interview with Antony Gormley himself… don’t miss the show this summer!

Find out more about the exhibition and visiting Harewood on our website here… www.harewood.org/gormley

Announcing Gormley at Harewood

At last night’s private view to launch Harewood’s Epstein exhibition Finding Adam, Diane Howse (Viscountess Lascelles) announced that sculptor Antony Gormley will be showing two new pieces of work in the Terrace Gallery later this summer.

Our current exhibition ‘Finding Adam’ explores the epic journey of Sir Jacob Epstein’s magnificent alabaster sculpture Adam from his origins in Epstein’s studio in London to Harewood House in Yorkshire, via Blackpool, New York, Cape Town and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as celebrating his return from cleaning and exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

“Adam and Epstein are a very hard act to follow,” said artist/curator Diane Howse. “I knew of Antony’s relationship to Epstein’s work and all of us here are huge fans of Antony, so we’re thrilled to have two pieces by him in the Terrace Gallery later this summer. It’s very much in keeping with our policy of showing the best of contemporary art alongside our historic collections, something my father-in-law Lord Harewood set in motion when he brought Adam here in the 1970’s. Yorkshire is rapidly becoming the place to see modern sculpture: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Henry Moore Institute are well-established of course and they are about to be joined by the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, which opens later this month. We’re proud to be playing our part in this celebration, not only with the Epstein exhibition, but also by showing work by one of Britain’s finest living artists.”

Antony Gormley adds: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to show two works at Harewood House, long associated with ‘Adam’, Epstein’s powerful evocation of masculine yearning carved from a massive block of English alabaster.

My material is iron. Smelted and cast in Wednesbury, it also engages with the block but uses the language of architecture to interpret the male human body as an unstable space made up of individual cells fused and propped together. The room in which the works will be shown is supported by four stone columns that make you aware of the load path of the building. I hope that these two works, in which columns and masses describe an unsteady vertical stack twisting through 90 degrees, will allow the viewer to think about his or her own body as a vertical tower.”

Antony Gormley’s installation will open to the public in the Terrace Gallery at Harewood on Saturday 13th August and will run till 30th October.

You can read more about the forthcoming Gormley exhibition on our webpage here… www.harewood.org/gormley

Adam arrives safely back to Harewood

Sir Jacob Epstein’s iconic sculpture ‘Adam’ returns to Harewood House today from the Royal Academy of Arts, where he has been displayed in the landmark exhibition ‘Modern British Sculpture’.

Click here to visit our website and watch the video to see Adam restored to the Entrance Hall here at Harewood and to hear from Anna Robinson (Head of House and Collections) as well as Jim Barrett (MOMART).

Finding Adam opens at Harewood House on 22nd April and explores the sculpture’s strange and epic journey from Louis Tussaud’s warehouse in Blackpool, to the Edinburgh International Festival, to his present home here at Harewood.

Read more about the Finding Adam exhibition here…

Image credit: The York Press

 

Adam has left the building…!

‘Adam’, an extraordinary piece by one of Britain’s most important twentieth century sculptors Sir Jacob Epstein, and one of the most important items in the Harewood modern collection, was carved from a single piece of Derbyshire alabaster in 1938 and 1939.

On 11th November this year, Adam left Yorkshire for London for conservation prior to being displayed at the Royal Academy… Removing Adam from the Entrance Hall here at Harewood was a considerable feat of engineering in itself, requiring an A-frame, winch and trackway, as well as scaffolding to support the steps and undercroft of the House and a Hiab outside the building to lift the sculpture on to a lorry… a big job for the scaffolders and art handlers, and the beginning of a long journey for Adam…

Adam was uncrated today at the conservation studio where he will remain until the New Year whilst cleaning work on his surface and repairs to his base take place.

We are filming the process – short snippets of which will be available on our website in the New Year and the final film will be shown as part of the exhibition here at Harewood in the spring when Adam returns… check out our website for details: www.harewood.org/findingadam

Norman Ackroyd at Harewood

Norman Ackroyd RA is used to wild, romantic landscapes as well as being out in all weathers armed with sketchbooks, watercolours, etching plates and acid… which is just as well as his visit to Harewood took place on an unseasonally cold day in June earlier this year!

House & Garden were keen to photograph Norman here at Harewood as part of their piece on prominent house painters (check out the October edition of House & Garden to read the article).

Norman was first invited to Harewood in 1997 to mark the bicentenary of Turner’s watercolours of Harewood House commissioned by the 1st Viscount Lascelles 200 years earlier, in 1797. As a master of his artform, Norman was the ideal choice, especially as he is, as Turner was before him, obsessed with geogrpahy and travelling.

Retracing his steps to the hillside where he came to sketch Harewood House overlooking its ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, wreathed in autumn mist Norman was enthusiastically greeted by our cows who have been enjoying the view in their summer pasture!

Norman Ackroyd selected several watercolours from the Harewood collection as part of our exhibition ‘Twenty-One‘ this year.

What Norman had to say about his involvement in the Terrace Gallery and this year’s exhibition at Harewood:

The foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in London by George III in 1768 opened up an awareness and patronage of British artists that had not previously existed. We are all aware of the great surge of portraiture led by Reynolds, Gainsborough et al – but it also resulted in a golden age of watercolour landscape with Turner, Girtin, Cotman, Varley, Cox and many others.

It was a great privilege to be asked to visit Harewood on the 200th anniversary of Turner’s visit, in 1997 as a 22 year old, to produce my impressions of the house and grounds. I have therefore chosen three watercolours, from that golden age, as my contribution to this anniversary.

Image left: Harewood in Autumn, Norman Ackroyd

Find out more about Harewood collections, exhibitions and more on our website… www.harewood.org