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Harewood House

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

Tales from The Tempest

A review by Antonia Pudney, work experience student at Harewood House this week…

A tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness performed by ‘Lord Chamberlains Men’ took centre stage on Harewood’s North Front. With minimalistic staging and few props the actors themselves were the ones that brought Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ to life.

An audience ranging from ages four to sixty four enjoyed an afternoon of open air theatre thanks to ‘Lord Chamberlains Men’- their interpretation of Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ was greeted with both applause and laughter by the audience. Periodic costumes and cleverly used props aided the actors in their performance but it was the actors themselves that made it a truly enjoyable experience.

The ability of the actors became very apparent whilst I was watching the play from the sidelines, seeing them exit the stage was like seeing a personality switch as they came out of their characters for the brief period of time they were backstage. The majority of the actors had to take on two roles as there are only several men in their company making the costumes a vital part of the play as they helped the audience differentiate between who was who at different points in the performance.

However, even without the costume changes it was clear that the actors had developed their characters meticulously so it was obvious when they had switched into their second character. The matinee performance was watched by both a primary and secondary school and even though some of the younger students couldn’t understand the complex language I believe they enjoyed themselves as the actors put both effort and emotion into their performance making it understandable even to young minds.

Overall the play was an enjoyable experience showcasing Shakespeare in a more intimate environment.

Find out more about upcoming events at Harewood House on our website www.harewood.org/whats-on

Save the Bees!

The Bees at Harewood were the focus of BCB Radio’s news bulletin today.

Research work being conducted at Dundee University has sparked renewed interest throughout the country in declining bee populations.

John Annett, of the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers’ Association spoke to James Crossling from BCB Radio to fill him in on the situation locally.

Suited-up James ventured into the apiary to meet the bees…you can read his article and see the video here: http://bcbnews.blogspot.com/2010/06/honey-bees-buzzing-off.html

Family activities at half term

Harewood has opened for half term, the weather has been cold, sometimes clear, sometimes wet!
However there has been lots going on. One of the most popular activities has been the felt puppet making of tiger puppets to celebrate the Chinese year of the Tiger. in fact it has been so popular that Jennifer Auty, one of our Learning and Access Officers (she provides fabulous ideas for school trips) has had to go an buy more felt for the puppets twice! Here she is making a prototype puppet.

Today is Shrove Tuesday or now more popularly known as Pancake Day. It has been a spectacular success today with a huge number of families coming to see the demonstrations and get some ideas for their own pancakes. The pancake tossing was particularly popular. This year we will be doing a lot more food demonstrations in the Old Kitchen.

Autumn Glory Fun and Scarecrows!

Autumn Glory has been a great success with the most glorious array of Autumn colour we have seen in years. Harewood’s grounds look beautiful at this time of year and it’s also a great opportunity to get the family out of the house this half term!

The event is only halfway through so there’s plentry more half term activities and family fun still to come. The weather forcast for the next few days is great so why not come along and explore Harewood this Autumn!

You can upload your own Autumn Glory images and snaps to our Facebook site…please do so as we’d love to see them!